ABA Journal Reporter Rachel Zahorsky talks with David Westin, author of Exit Interview and a former Washington, D.C., BigLaw partner, who left his position as president of ABC News after 14 years of leading media coverage of what he calls “some of the most perplexing and important events in history.”
President Bill Clinton’s impeachment (including what ignited the decision to report on the existence of a certain blue dress); the 2000 presidential election; the Sept. 11 attacks; the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan; and the worst economy since the Great Depression have marked an era of constant change in America. And, within the newsroom, Westin, who was seen as a corporate outsider to some veteran journalists, inherited a business besieged by budget cuts and competition from nearly unlimited sources thanks in part to the explosive growth of the Internet and digital technology.
As a former lawyer who once clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Westin also shares with us his views on cameras in courtrooms, protections for anonymous sources, and lessons the legal profession—faced with its own changing landscape—should learn.
Newsweek: “David Westin on Network News in Crisis in ‘Exit Interview’”
NPR: “A Network Head Reflects In ‘Interview’”
KPCC: “Former head of ABC News David Westin offers his ‘Exit Interview’”
Listen to the Podcast