Saturday, May 01, 2010

INTERVIEW WITH THE WOODWARD REPORT



Brian Woodward



Who is Brian Woodward; from where came the interest in politics?


I am currently a student of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. I have spent two summers in Austin, Texas, a summer in Orange County, California, spent a year in New York City, and currently reside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, my hometown. Throughout my experiences in the different geographic areas I was able to gain an appreciation for the differences in culture, political, and socioeconomic environments.


What inspired The Woodward Report?



That’s easy, my love for politics and the natural divisiveness of the subject are perfect for the web. A beauty of our nation is everyone’s right to express their views on such matters. The website is there to provide the most pertinent political stories. We try to provide the most current and politically meaningful headlines; from there, the readers are free to form their own opinions.



What is the most popular part of The Woodward Report?



The headlines page is the primary focus, it’s updated constantly. The page is designed to provide the most thoughtful and influential stories so that the readers can form a complete, current political picture of the times. It provides links to stories from various news outlets across the web plus original content that we provide ourselves. We primarily link to U.S. based publications but we do pick up a lot from global publications as well. The Woodward Report links to stories of news and analysis to a vast variety of publications. A few examples include: The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, POLITICO.com, The Weekly Standard, Bretibart.com, CNN, CNBC, FOX News, C-Span, The Jerusalem Post, The Japan Times, The London Times, The UK’s Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Russia’s Pravda Website, The Washington Times, Reuters, The Associated Press and many more.



What issues comprise the primary focus of The Woodward Report?


The most addressed issues are the most pressing and as the times change so do the issues. For a long time, healthcare has dominated the news. Also nuclear weapons, terrorism, environmental issues, taxation and the dominant actors in geo-politics such as Iran, China, Russia, Israel, and North Korea have played a big part in political news as well. Approaching November and the mid-term elections, campaign issues will become more dominant issues as well. I’d say that we feature fiscal and economic policy, geo-politics and foreign relations. We try to cover cultural issues too. We see, especially in cable news, way too many stories concerning how many times Obama has played golf, or Carrie Prejean’s comment on same-sex marriage, those aren’t significant stories. Sure, they’re great theatre and if that is what you are seeking more power to you. There’s nothing wrong with covering such stories. But I wouldn’t file them under impactful political stories. Cultural subjects should take a backseat to economic and political activity. Why? Because the most important thing for this country is that it remains safe from terrorism and rogue regimes like Iran and North Korea. Also, US economic health is essential; without sound policy, our economy suffers. When the citizens are kept safe from terror and possible threatening nations one can feel secure. Also, when the economy thrives and jobs are available, individuals can exercise the freedoms provided by the Constitution. If foreign policy, national defense, and economic policy fail, the citizens’ lives reflect that; they can’t exercise their freedom of expression and activity as they should. There’s a wide variety of “cultural issues;” some examples include: the legalization of drugs, homosexual rights particularly concerning marriage, affirmative action and whether businesses, particularly private ones, should be forced to meet quotas of any sort; there is also the very divisive issue of abortion. These matter; we cover them but I think s that foreign policy and economics are more important.


What are some the things that separate your website from other similar political minded sites?



We incorporate a lot of video. In a world where time is always precious and attention spans tend to run low it’s easier and more appealing to learn through watching videos. With YouTube especially, we have interviews, news and analysis that the Woodward Report seeks and posts throughout the site. Our aim with the videos is not day-to-day news, though we do run eye-popping events that we know our viewers will appreciate. We try to bring you videos that deal with issues that can expand knowledge, for example, videos of Milton Friedman, the great proponent of free-market capitalism and interviews in which he discusses his views. Other videos could include snippets of House and Senate debates, debates between pundits on issues of Iran, North Korea, Health care etc. If it’s in the realm of science, economics, politics, philosophy or religion, we strive to give you the experts, provide all sides and let you decide what you think of the topics.


What features do you plan to advance or add to the site in the coming months?



We want to provide additional pages dedicated to subjects that we at The Woodward Report see as the most consequential and defining current issues. These will be U.S. news, primarily politics, world political news, US and global economics as economic affairs no longer pertain solely to individual countries; financial markets affect the entire globe. Two other quasi-related sections that we aim to cover are religion and science. These are in place but we will develop them further as resources allow. With religion, there’s plenty to talk about. These issues don’t rush by like political and economic issues but they are some of the most important issues of the times. Whether it be the rising atheist population and debates with the faithful; (some of my favorites are the debates between Christian Dinesh D’Souza and Atheist Christopher Hitchens) or going beyond that into understanding how religion manifests itself within society or how does it affect political and socio-economic issues? The philosophy of religion plays a vital role in the lives of people globally. We are all aware of the big three: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Beyond that there are also the eastern religions as well as new age beliefs. It is interesting to note the great philosophers of both our time and times past and their view on the subjects. In relation to science, I believe it may shape our world more than anything else whether it comes from debates over evolution and creationism, developments in the realm of physics or just advances in technology. Think about how the development of computers, airplanes, weaponry and such has changed not only the way we live our lives but the way the world operates.


Your site boasts a title of Conservative News and Politics. Is this a site that is biased toward the conservative minded?



As with any publication, there is going to be some sort of a theme; some may call it a slant in selecting stories to report. However, the headlines page is a neutral page. You’ll see links to the NY Times and Huffington Post which are typically viewed as left-leaning publications; we also link to the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Times which are seen as right-leaning. In addition, stories are linked to outlets such as the Associated Press, Reuters, and POLITICO which are generally viewed as neutral publishers more focused on providing facts and adding little opinion. Generally the opinion pieces we write ourselves will be conservative or libertarian views but they are clearly presented as “opinion”.
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