Woodward: ‘The truth resides with people,’ not the Internet

The Washington Post | Poynter

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein don't think the Internet is a great place for reporting: "The truth of what goes on is not on the Internet," Woodward said at the American Society of News Editors' conference Monday. The Web "can supplement. It can help advance. But the truth resides with people. Human sources.”

Though Web news had some defenders, Dan Zak writes, "The ballroom, though, was mostly misty with nostalgia."

“We had a readership that was much more open to real fact than today,” Bernstein said. The Watergate story done today, he said, probably wouldn't "withstand this cultural reception. It might get ground up in the process."

Woodward hit some similar notes in a visit to Poynter last year: “The really important information on Watergate or any of these stories was not on the Internet," he said, which, to be fair, wasn't much of a concern in the early '70s. "Mark Felt, who was Deep Throat, didn’t have a Facebook account. He wouldn’t have had one."

He wasn't entirely down on social media: "“All the blogs and Twitter and Facebook are all part of a conversation and a discussion, and by and large I think it’s good and it’s healthy. People will sort out the information they’re going to use and need. But I’m not sure that being connected every minute is a good thing.”

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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