When Carl Bernstein and his Washington Post colleague Bob Woodward were investigating the Watergate scandal that drove President Richard Nixon to announce his resignation 40 years ago today, the stakes were high. For the country, a presidency was on the line; for Bernstein, his career.
With the anniversary today, we got to thinking whether the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist would’ve navigated the story any differently as a member of a media featuring 24/7 cable news and a never-ending social media stream.
“I’d do it exactly the same way,” Bernstein told TVNewser earlier this week at the CNN “The Sixties” finale screening. “Go out at night, knock on people’s doors, visit them at home, be respectful of them…they all worked for Richard Nixon and his re-election committee; they weren’t Democrats.”
“There’s no substitute for real reporting. Just relying on Twitter or the web to look up information is not real reporting. It can be part of the process, but the real thing… go out and talk to people and find out what the hell is going on.”