Bernstein, who now writes for Vanity Fair, and has written several books, believes there's still plenty of good reporting being done. He cited the Boston Globe's investigation of the Catholic Church's sexual misconduct, a cover-up he called "beyond Nixonian."
"There are news institutions that are still around that are committed, even in the face of financial reductions," Bernstein said.
His concern is the "cacophony" of the 24-hour news cycle that's veering from the best obtainable version of the truth to coverage that supports people's pre-conceived prejudices and ideologies.
But to both of them, journalism is still an important and noble profession. Woodward, who continues to work for the Washington Post and also is an author, said if a Martian spent one year on Earth in the United States, then returned to Mars and was asked what the best job was there, it would say journalists.
"We get to make momentary entries into people's lives when they're interesting, then get the hell out when they cease to be interesting," Woodward said.
At the awards dinner, the chamber named Scott Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of ExactTarget in Indianapolis, as its Business Leader of the Year. Rep. Jerry Torr and Sen. Carlin Yoder, who co-authored the right-to-work legislation that became state law, were honored as the Government Leaders of the Year. Indianapolis was named Community of the Year for its successful hosting of the Super Bowl and its cultural and business growth.
Visit the website IndianaChamber.com for more information.