tv QA CSPAN February 29, 2016 9:27pm-10:29pm EST
and national news i got interested in myself. >> where did your parents come from? >> they came from israel. they came to the united states they believed the american dream they stopped in paris and came to the united states. >> when did you understand what journalism is supposed to be? >> id with the profession i was pretty sure i wanted to make my career at an early age. to read about a head to observe that i tried to be as professional as possible i don't think it was terribly professional but in college i became more aware
journalism major so i just try to be more and more professional and a lot of things that i learned in college. >>host:. >>cspan: why did you combine those two? >> there were a couple reasons but i knew that journalism was more specialized and then i needed to have a specialty in the other where is i could not be sure that journalism was the career for me. i thought but i was unsure. in business would be one of them. said. >>host: would issue definition of journalism? spinach make the public
that i had never seen before , also indicating that will be difficult, and they will be hard decisions to make about what to publish and what not to publish. all kinds of new security measures, and you don't know me from adam, but that's why i'm here. [laughter] c-span: what do you remember after that? what did you have to do? >> guest: i certainly remember the story being proposed. obviously involve sensitive documents, and, and i certainly felt the weight of that and recognized it will be await on the shoulders of the entire institution as well. the 1st thing to do is talk to him and layout the
story. and he talked about it and we had to decide whether we would proceed. and so we had, and in-depth conversation about that back fairly promptly that we were willing to move ahead with the story. c-span: he did not work with you at that time, so what was that arrangement? >> guest: bart had worked for the "washington post" at a previous time. at the time he was working on contract for the times. he felt this was a story he should bring to the "washington post". he felt most comfortable doing so, new people at the "washington post", and had heard good things about me. so he brought it to us, taking some risk in doing so,so, but it was a calculated risk on his part.
c-span: how did it work for their? >> we put them back on contract and wrote out a contract and wanted to provide him legal protection should he needed which was important. and so we agreed to provide that. first we decided whether to pursue the story. the reason is because the story raised all sorts of important privacy considerations for americans. what we saw was a dramatic increase in the level of surveillance by the us government with enormous applications for the privacy of americans, and the emergence of a surveillance state, one that was emergent in a powerful way without any real debate among americans as to whether this is what they wanted from the government.
and theand the view of myself and my colleagues, this is a debate that the public should have, as to what they wanted the balance to be between privacy and security. and related to security the level of surveillance. i thought it was important the american public participate in a debate of that sort. huge implications for the kind of society we have. c-span: when do you find out it was edward snowden? >> guest: later. a matter of weeks, month or so, something like that. i'm not sure bart knew who it was initially. c-span: when was the 1st time he had to go to the government to ask him?
>> guest: bart approached intelligence officials about it. people at the nsa and they said they did not want him to write the story. but we told them that we felt it was an important story to publish and were going to publish it and invited them to comment and they essentially did not initially. initially they did not want to engage. c-span: that others follow up with you to try to get you to not publish? >> guest: actually, no. subsequent to that we have many stories, as you know, and, and we did have meetings with people in the government. i stayed in one pretty consequential meeting with intelligence officials about that and then reporters had interactions with people in the federal government as well, particularly the realm
of intelligence. so typically in these instances we don't just publish an than what the consequences stay out to see what happens. we have discussions with them, let them know what we are intending to publish and i willing to go into detail about what stories will say, considerable detail and given the opportunity to make an argument as to whether that implement -- information should be public or not. and we will have discussions and maybe even debates as to whether these things are relevant 1st of all or whether they have a bearing on the sources and methods of intelligence networks. we want to publish information certainly not without some overwhelming public interest at stake.
c-span: was there a time when you thought you might not publish the story? >> the 1st story, no. we were absolutely confident we would publish. and all the other stories be published over a period of a year and beyond, we felt very comfortable publishing. we had substantial discussions about what stories we felt, which stories involve public interest which is the threshold. c-span: how far do you take -- when you have a story like this how much do you involve the publisher, the owner, and at the time who was the owner? >> guest: the owner was the parent company of the "washington post" at the time in the ceo of the company, the chairman of the company was don graham. and so we informed both that we were intending to publish
this initial story as well as subsequent stories because it had implications for institutions. i could not publish a story like that without letting them know. and they signed onto it and were aware of what the story was generally about and aware that it could have implications for empowering institutions as well. >> but the "washington post" not three years. >> yes. c-span: video of catherine wayland who is no longer there from may 22013. you are onset where they are being interviewed, and the only reason they want to run this is to hear what she is saying about the post and what has changed in that short amount of time. >> about 500,000500,000 daily subscribers to the "washington post", 700,000 on sundays. what are the 200,000 on sunday during during the rest of the week? how come you don't have 700,000 during the week?
>> i should add we have 19 million. the sunday reader is different for starters. people have more time on sunday. a lot of people get part of the sunday paper delivered on saturday. plus we have the coupons and there. they yeah. a lot of people get the paper for tv week and magazine and coupons and because they want to sit back. c-span: in two short years those numbers have changed dramatically. but the 19 million has gone way up. explain what has happened. >> guest: 71.6 million unique visitors in the us. that was the number for november. and that was a record. we had a had a record in october as well, and in october we passed the
new york times in terms of the number of unique visitors, and we widened the lead over the new york times in the month of november. the numbers have grown tremendously. lots of people across the us and around the world. c-span: it seems to me that since you have come along has been a change in ownership and a change in the digital communications, and icommunications, and i want to show the video of your new office facility. what does it feel like with the reputation the post had, you come in and it is all different now. here is the new office. so, is this an important passage? >> guest: i think it is an important step in our history. fantastic in terms of what it represented in terms of the history of the "washington post". history was made there.
watergate in many other stories. but we have entered a new era where most people are getting information online, from digital devices, typically a smart phone, and our business has undergone a change. we have to change along with our industry and the way people are changing their consumption habits. this was the opportunity to do that. working together more collaboratively with data visualization experts, video teams, people who subplot -- specialize in social media and are much more integrated as a news organization. this facility has allowed us to do that and it has the technological facilities we need in a news information of the modern era. c-span: you were quoted as
saying the internet is its own medium but we approach everything as "washington post" stories. we are not living in a traditional news telling time. what did you mean? >> guest: well, look, you know, when you tell a story on television you don't read aa newspaper story. when you tell a story on radio you don't read it television script. along comes the web and it is its own medium. the web allows us to do all sorts of things and tell stories in ways that i materially different and so there is a different way that ordinary people interact with and definitely tablets and smartphones and laptops and things like that. and so it allows us to tell stories in different ways and deploy the tools we have, incorporate tweets that people on the scene of a major news event, we
incorporate that into the story. if there is a video, we incorporate that. if there is an original document, we incorporate that. if it makes sense to annotate comeau we can do that. that isthat. that is the type of story that, the format, storytelling format that is unique and cannot be replicated in print. and so those are stories that work extremely well on the web. and so we want to do that. on top of that is aa different style. people can be more conversational, the stories more accessible, and there is a stronger voice with aa better sense of the personality of the writer then you do and the more structured, formalized format. >> how many -- c-span: how many people were on your editorial staff when you 1st got there and how
many now? >> maybe 650 or so. it droppedit dropped to 630 and is now up around 700. those are rough numbers. c-span: you have your foot in the old camp and the new camp. i want to read you this. analyticthis. analytic dashboards will soon be added to reporter computers and traffic figures will eventually be looked at as a part of performance reviews. anybody swallow hard and our business? >> guest: probably. but that is just the reality, and it is important. we need to know how many people are reading. we need not air coming to us. if they are not coming directly to our website but
through facebook or google or twitter or snapshot or read it or any of these other venues we should know that and ii do not think there is anything terribly radical about it. when those of us in the newspaper industry, those of us who have been in this industry for a long time, we were taught, how does this work when people read newspapers? well, now they continue to read newspapers the more people are reading on digital devices and so we need to understand how they are reading on digital devices and it is comparable to what we learned in terms of reading newspapers. >> people and the radio talkshow business have beat up on mainstream media every day, and i want to run a clip come all these people
have said -- and see what you think. >> the moral code, the moral compass of the state-controlled media is something to behold. >> social media and activists like you are seeing today they health rendered the mainstream media powerless. >> the vermin in the media. >> mainstream media is out of control, and you know that and it is beyond compare. >> we present a list of questions that are not media >> the horse train media, collaborator media, wolf media. >> what do you think? anymore adjectives left? >> i think we got them all.
>> they gain commercial advantage of criticizing us. that's fine. many of them are the mainstream media. fox news, largest cable news operation in the country. the most successful radio talkshow host in the country they are the mainstream media in many ways. i just don't think that this should affect us. the think that we should do is stick to that purpose, that mission, and not be distracted by attacks. attacks. there is no question attacks of that sort has hurt our image. way down for what it used to
be and probably what it ought to be. you know, outlets like those , credibility is lower among the population that does not have to agree with them. the credibility aside. i just think we cannot get distracted by that. i think the name-calling is pointless and intended to gain commercial advantage. by politicians, other media organizations. >> limbaugh comes out of florida, alec jones of texas sean hannity out of new york they would say and i have heard them say that you are living in a bubble in washington and no idea what the country thinks. >> guest: sure. washington is a bit of a bubble. i worked in california,
boston, new york, traveled around the country, many of these places can be bubbles, no question about it and washington can be. we have to be very careful about that. i do not think that washington or boston necessarily represents the vast majority of americans and is something we have to be aware of and is important for correspondence to get out of washington and go to the rest of the country and here what people have to say c-span: same issue, and i wonder if you have gotten credit for this. came from the national review. did you hire him? >> guest: yes. c-span: here he is talking about the post. >> they want in-depth coverage, and when you look,
i think they are adding depth to the ranks which was already strong, but this is no surprise, objectivity and wants more information. i do not consider it an ideological paper anyway. c-span: why did you hire them? >> guest: an exceptionally good reporter who has done an exceptionally good job of covering the conservative movement. it is an important movement. we wantwe want to impart to our readers the level of understanding he has. and soand so that is why we hired him. he is a good reporter. c-span: editorial op-ed page. on the conservative side, the people not wants to recognize?
>> you would have to ask them whether they don't want or don't want to. i don't know. the fact is, i am, i am not in charge of the op-ed or editorial page, we have a wide variety of voices, people from the far left to the far right and everyone in between, and that is the way that it should be. we should listen to a wide variety of voices. i want our reporters to get out in the country and listen to a wide variety of voices.voices. and the costa has done an exceptional job. tracking the conservative movement, listening. done a tremendous job of listening to people and trying to understand why they support who they support and what is motivating there support. c-span: let me go back and ask you to recall what you remember 1st when i mentioned you left lehi, eventually went to the miami herald."herald".
what do you remember from your 1976 on days? >> guest: my 1st job was as a reporter and a very small town, town of 12,000, 12,000, and the entire county only had 50,000. and so i am a colleague, responsible for producing a page of news and features six out of seven days a week. a lot of work and sometimes we had to struggle to find a story ina story in a place with not that many people with that much going on. only one movie theater in the entire county. so i worked there for nine months, went -- they reassigned me to boca raton. really at the heart of the slow growth movement, and they were trying to impede the development. and i did that for a while and then because of my interest in business ii was invited to miami to be a business reporter, and that was just the business
reporting was starting to take off. in 1979 deregulating interest rates which opened the floodgates to new investment vehicles including money market funds and then mutual funds an individual people started to self direct investment. that opened the floodgates to advertising and created opportunity for expansion of business sections in the hiring of business reporters which is what took me to the la times in 1979. c-span: just a small technique you might have used as a reporter back then. in order to get people to talk. >> guest: i believe in the role of listening.
sometimes reporters do too much talking. ask a simple question and people will go on and on. they do not like to remain silent. they like to talk. so sometimes silence can be the most effective incentive for people who speak. c-span: you have or reputation of not being much of a talker. is it uncomfortable? >> guest: i am keenly interested in what others have to say. certainly i like to listen to what other people's opinions are. they have a lot to contribute. listening to 700 people can be helpful. a lot more about their areas so i think we can be
stronger. in a position why listen closely and try to use their knowledge to the best. c-span: los angeles times for 14 years. >> guest: 17 years. c-span: what is the one story you remember most? >> guest: i covered a lot. a lot of the michael milken stuff, all of that. i moved back to los angeles as noted are and was responsible for coverage of that era. c-span: why the new york times? >> guest: it seemed like the right moment in my career. and it just seemed a good opportunity. i could've gone to the "wall
street journal" and the new york times. c-span: what did you do at the new york times and how long were you there? >> guest: a little over three years. basically the proxy to make sure the paper met the standards and responded to news quickly and to basically be the representative at night. i went from department to department. i committed to doing that, but after nine months they decided i knew what i was doing in the editor put me in the position for which i went in the 1st place. c-span: what would you say to outsiders, what is the
difference between being inside the new york times and inside the "washington post" point. c-span: i don't know the "washington post" right now. you know, it is hard to describe cultural differences. there are significant cultural differences. there was more internal competition. it's one of the things i find most attractive. really do feel there working in a team. there for the 2,000 election.
played a very important role >> will tell you what we did 1st of all. full-scale recount of the vote in florida. determine the real results. we get our own. under the expense of public records law which is wonderful and so we obtained the ballots, went with an accounting firm who do their accountdid their account and waited hours and we went to every single ballot and have the supervisor hold up the ballot and record whether
and how that was voted and whether it could in fact be counted. and they recall there were different standards. the so-called hanging chad. punctured in some ways, did you counter not count? and we looked at the vote, various standards and we determined that bush won that election. c-span: count once? >> guest: we counted once. we hired. we both came to the same conclusion. c-span: how hard was that to decide to do?
>> guest: i don't think it was hard to do because we were aware that allow us to gain access. the ceo of the parent company but he was very -- he felt that we should hire accounting firm, big six, i can't remember at the time. we should have one of them also do account. we set about the process of trying to you one of the accounting firms to go along with them and we would pay them. one of the biggest would participate in this. ..
the room people talked about the story but nobody mentioned the story and i asked what we we're doing to follow-up. could we not get to the truth? one side says something completely different. and it was pointed out to me that the documents were under seal. but have we thought about the possibility to file a motion? i did know the laws of massachusetts but in florida we probably would have tried to go to court. keep in mind florida has expansive public records law but these were not public records but they were private records put under seal by the court at the request of the archdiocese. but i would have fled to
have the motion that i raised that and i was meant with silence. then i suggest we meet after the meeting to discuss and we did it agree decided we would consult with the outside attorney that i did not know and find out the prospects to succeed with such a motion. the lawyer tailback he gave as an assessment of the case in the judge in the circumstances. i asked what he thought the odds we would prevail. in a lawyer like bashing and he said 50/50. i said those are good with journalism. let's go ahead. so we did. c-span: in a catholic town all reporters were raised catholic what impact did that have at the time?
because she went up against the cardinal who was still alive. >> he does live in rome he is retired after the scandal broke but i knew that boston was heavily influenced by the catholic church in the catholic church was the single most powerful institution in boston but people were asking me why did you decide to go up against the catholic church? i didn't. i decided there was a story in front of us we needed to pursue. the journalistic impose. question was to get the truth is our job. when somebody says the truth may never be known to me we should go after that right away. that is what we decided to
do. c-span: now there is a movie called spotlight this is your team. not actors although the man that lady looks just like you. didn't even robbie robinson but i will ask you about let's watch. >> working seven days a week 16th hour days over months dash incredible militants of labor. >> this a you just hope eventually publish something but there are a few editors willing to do that. >> newspapers are the only medium that have the resources to do "in-depth" reporting but just investigative projects but institutions of society with
the resources is in laos is in the papers around the country is of particular yet the local level. >> i was on the spotlight team we had for 2001. without long-term investment >> what impact did the movie have on you? >> telos the anonymity that i had before. the other is people are recognizing the quality work for "the boston globe" was owned by "the new york times" that the time. two years ago rightabout the same time "the washington post" was sold. is has had enormous impact
into the entire team isn't essentially we have gone 14 years. but the prize was awarded 2003 but will lovell of attention that comes with the movie is well beyond that comes with the pulitzer prize. c-span: the other impact is the catholic churches in the priesthood. marion? you know, her? a harvard law professor to the vatican or the holy city back november 4th, 2002. spee reference the press created a climate around the story of the pedophilia crisis with in fact, only a tiny minority of cases involved pedophiles of pre-pubescent children from
homosexual relations the teenage boys. >> we didn't describe it as pedophilia but abusive young people in some instances it was young women or adult women before the most part it was young boys some of it was pedophilia or boys of an older age. c-span: she spoke you can see why i thought it was irrelevant to talk about maria the worst offender by far has been "the boston globe" putting 250 stories in 100 days on the front page to create a climate of hysteria of which has not been seen since the first, did was bird down 1834. >> battle think we greeted an environment of hysteria. that is ridiculous. but the fact is that there
are hundreds and hundreds of young people particularly boys then they covered it up not just once but repeatedly that lasted many decades. but i feel very proud of that network. c-span: to the go to prison before or after? >> after and he was murdered. strangled by his fellow inmates. c-span: how many boys. >> about 100 the by remember correctly. >> from an attorney i often hear it said the globe will receive a pulitzer prize for the reporting on this matter all i can say in fairness and accuracy have anything to do with it awarded the pulitzer prize to "the boston globe" is like giving the nobel peace prize to osama bin not in. >> and that is there in the
scenes in which was in the movie i wish that'' from the speech was in the movie because it is so outrageous. to compare us to a terrorist? that is abominable but it is amazing the woman her position who ultimately became a u.s. ambassador to the vatican would say something like that. even the catholic church with the vatican would not say that today. c-span: here is a clip from the actual movie. you are not in it but played in it. >> that is why they had the reaction. i think that is the bigger story. >> the numbers clearly indicate. >> i you telling me with 50 pedophile priest? >> it is the same catfight
that makes a lot of noise but change nothing one bit. we need to focus on the institution not the individual priest. practice and policy. shall be the church manipulated the system that put the same priest back into parishes time and time again show me it is systemic coming from the top down. c-span: is that you? to make it is me or someone that looks like me. c-span: how much of that represented the way you did it? >> it is quite feasible to the broad outline of the investigation is it is important to keep in mind is a movie and not a documentary you have to compress over a seven month investigation including things after word introduce a lot of characters in the important themes that
emerged during that course. i am very pleased with how it portrays what have been. >> there is an article with a headline is martin the best editor of all time? what would you say? does that make your job any harder? >> yes. i have taken a lot of ribbing for that. but i feel these comparison survey useful purpose and there have been many good editors overtime as well. including the "washington post" in the globe and other places. i'm not interested in those comparisons to have people judge my work over a period of time but i know how you
make those comparisons from one to the next speesix you will run something from bill o'reilly. >> the attacks on my book killing reagan ultimately decided the last time to address it they come will did mostly from "the washington post" editorial page. that is it did they have the unprecedented columns three attacking the book we have learned the publisher of the "washington post" apparently does not want the truth about ronald reagan only once praised it is also the chairman of the reagan library foundation that had not been disclosed to "the washington post". c-span: so there is a conflict of interest. he has an agenda and his
subordinates are doing his bidding without knowing what is going on. [laughter] >> to be clear dash not in charge of the editorial or the op-ed page they were written by a george who is i don't know him personally but completely independent and does his column and has total independence. he doesn't actually come into the office i hold the key ever comes in i have never seen him he works for his own private office or his home i have no idea and rights would ever call and he wants to write he doesn't take construction from the publisher. it is preposterous and the publisher doesn't give instructions to us about what we should write day to day either. c-span: think back 20 years
ago the family that owned the post it in the old building but no new building he is still chairman of the reagan foundation is it the same place that used to be? there was a lot of nostalgia >> the post has changed a lot in and has held onto values and principles. in the industry has changed the way it has been transmitted and consumed so we have now changed locations to take place in the industry and in the post. we are moving very fast into the digital age but those
are the values and principles but that is something that we have to hold on to. >>. c-span: paying $250 million for the post here he is 2014. >>. >> big changes at the post only is it had been a national and global reputation but the local product was a local product by design. and for the time it was a very good strategy as opposed to a business that was successful for decades but that is what we're changing. we're in the process to remake the post in that way so it can also be, we will continue to do the local
coverage but the post has the good fortune to be the newspaper of the capital city of united states of america and that is a great starting point to be a national or global publication. c-span: how has the post changed since it went under new ownership mitt you were there? >> you heard some of that. we changed the strategy previously it was more about washington is it important national things are happening given a is the capital we did not see ourselves as a true national news organization. but now gore strategy is to become a true national news organization. that is a significant change. how? we now live in the digital
era and have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves to reach many more people we could not reach before. we don't have to deliver a newspaper to their doorstep or print a paper fetus through facebook in through twitter is really reinventing ourselves with had a daily circulation of a hundred 30,000 now is 320,000 will ago to just digital? >> eventually. >> ad un taliban lifetime. but i am 61 so i guess there will be a print product but
the readers to value them with the best journalism possible and they are extremely loyal and we should be loyal to them as well providing those readers will be there for a long time because they like to read printed they are very attached to it so i think you'll ever printed product quite some time but the trend is clear it is true that every newspaper to be down and it is true of privilege every newspaper in the developed world. but on the internet the audience is growing dramatically. >> there is a story where before you were selected to be editor the publisher asked the at on the front pages and basically that he
thought that was great 7q wanted to put ads on the front page of the "miami herald" and i was adamantly opposed to that at the time i said that the node down to develop that before. i see he liked my combativeness that had a strong point of view them as a lawyer by backer and he liked the argument. so we did not have that on the front page well i was there although there was at one point a desire that i made a promise within the business was changed and then on the front page of the "washington post" and "the boston globe" it was made by the publisher who makes those decisions if i
like you're not. c-span: when it assured time to leave the post what will you have have to have done? >> we are truly digital and make sure it isn't second nature but first nature. what to make sure the continue to be organization that does him -- important in the dishes work to hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable i want us to be journalistically ambitious it innovative and to make progress in the digital world. c-span: if spotlight is nominated for an oscar and winds will you go to the oscars? rebecca i don't know i have not been invited and
denominations have not been announced for i hope they would invite us but i don't know how that works or food gets tickets or what is available it i will wait to if not that is fine i will watch with great interest. c-span: give us one downside to the publicity. >> i don't see one to tell you the truth. i lost all my anonymity like a roll around without anybody recognizing me. but it is good for journalism if for the public to reflect on our role with the importance of investigative journalism to hold powerful institutions available -- accountable and do it correctly per car hoping focuses the attention of local journalism and local stories but it started as a local story just like watergate and i hope it
>> it is all whole different campaign moving on the caucus states those voters to have a defining impact it is a very different phase in the campaign without one-on-one with a little ago from airport to airport to appeal to as many voters as possible organization is key so they hope they know who they are that the name recognition is out there the khanates have to convince those voters that is the person they should go for. >> since the late '70s to call then ask questions but
there is nothing better than talking to the voters what were the lines like whether to support this candidate? you really get a sense the pulse of america you don't get anywhere else. other networks have the analyst and if they're reporters on super tuesday but we have our viewers from the radio and television. [inaudible conversations]