Bob Woodruff courtesy ABC
It's been two and a half years since ABC News' Bob Woodruff
suffered a massive brain injury while reporting in Iraq. Further proof of his remarkable recovery will be seen on August 6, when ABC airs China Inside Out: Bob Woodruff Reports
(10 p.m. ET), an hour-long special that looks at the global impact of the country's rapid economic expansion.
Woodruff was a lawyer when he first went to China in the mid 1980s. He was hired by CBS News to be an interpreter during the uprising in Tiananmen Square, an event that launched his journalism career. He recently talked to the Biz about his continuing return to form. TVGuide.com: You've been back at work for a while now. How are you feeling?
I'm getting better. It's unbelievable to me. For me to have a conversation with you two years ago would have been difficult. Just my ability to come back to journalism has been a miracle to me. To do some of the stories that I think are important - China, international stories, certainly the environment, which we're doing a lot of reporting on. TVGuide.com: You're an anchor on Planet Green!
: You got it. It's an issue that the next generation - my kids - need to know more about. TVGuide.com: Do you still have any major physical issues from your injuries?
I've still got aphasia. That's a loss of words and names. It's still a problem, but nothing like it was before. I still have moments where I can't remember names of friends and some words. I've figured out many different ways to make the points I need when I've forgotten words. Doctors say that's not something that's going to disappear. But I've made a massive improvement every month. TVGuide.com: Does that make doing live TV tricky for you?
I'm different live than I used to be. I've been on live. Sometimes you can't really tell any difference from before. Other moments you can. As long as people want to accept that and the reality I now live in, then I'll be on more and more. It's not the same kind of word skill I had before. Fortunately, I understand everything I need to talk about. Here and there I will forget words. TVGuide.com: How was reporting on the China of today compared to the time when you were working with CBS News on their coverage of Tiananmen Square?
In Beijing, back in 1989, we drove bikes and there were hardly any cars on the street. Now it's jammed with them. There were people who lived in rooms with holes in the floor for a toilet. Now there is a middle class kind of life. The growth of these cities is immense. When I was there most of my Chinese friends never even thought they'd leave China. Ambassadors were the only ones I knew that were outside of the country. Now there are Chinese all over the world, not just in the United States. TVGuide.com: And you traveled around the world to show China's growing economic influence.
We went to Angola. It's a country where China is trying to rebuild railroads, buildings and highways in return for access for oil. They've become the largest importer of soybeans from Brazil...China is expanding around the world and we need to know more about it. On Wall Street, you see huge amount of money (China) is pouring in to help the United States get through its debt. The United States has the global power in the world the past century. Before that it was Britain. China may be next. TVGuide.com: What other stories do you have in the pipeline?
I continue to do a lot of reporting on Iraq war veterans. I want to make sure that people do what they can to help them and give them the kind of dignity they deserve. I want people to know how they are doing and know what they are about when the come back from the war.