By Chris Adams
Martha Raddatz has simple, yet powerful, advice for young journalists: Just go.
Whether it’s to a government department, or to a military base, or on a training exercise, or to any place where potential sources gather, Raddatz said the human connection is vital to building trust.
“If you go out and you show interest in what they do, even if you’re not reporting on those exercises … they’ll so appreciate it that you start from a position of respect,” she said. “It can go south from there, but if you start from that position – that you really want to understand what they do – I think that’s important.”
In her session with National Press Foundation Paul Miller fellows, Raddatz stressed the need to build and nurture sources over time. She has sources today she has known for years, and she respects the work they do, even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye on specific stories.
“People know I genuinely care about them,” she said.
Raddatz is ABC News’ chief global affairs correspondent and co-anchor of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She has covered national security, foreign policy and politics for decades – often overseas in combat zones – and moderated high-profile debates during the 2012 and 2016 presidential election cycles.
Her book, “The Long Road Home—a Story of War and Family,” is a best-selling account of a battle in Iraq and is being adapted as an eight-part miniseries for National Geographic. She also won NPF’s 2016 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.