The Watergate Scandal
RESOURCES (6)
  • 5:52
    Watergate historical overview
  • 0:37
    Nixon declares "I am not a crook"
  • 14:58
    Interesting animated take on Watergate.
1 COMMENT
  1. ASNAIRA

    This is considered such a potvial moment in journalism because two journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, truly defined what it means to be an investigative journalist. They went to great leaps and bounds to uncover the truth to a story, despite all of the harsh criticism that they received and the political red tape that they had to maneuver around. Both these reporters, as well as the Washington Post newspaper, showcased the media influencing history and uncovering downplayed facts of a huge cover-up scandal. The entire Watergate incident may not have been as well known, or dealt with as severely, if not for the intense media coverage. I believe that today, even more so than 30 years ago, there would be far more red tape to uncover. Governmental actions today seem a lot more covered up and done in secret than those of the past. Reporters seem to have much more of a hard time exposing such an enormous scandal without any sort of repercussions. Many may also be hesitant to report anything that could be deemed sensational for fear of losing their job if the information does not turn out to be one hundred percent accurate. The Watergate legacy is really one of the major opportunities for Americans to see the intricate corruption that can take place at the governmental level. This experience perhaps opened the eyes of American citizens, forcing them to question what goes on in government and to not necessarily place blind faith and trust in the government. The Watergate legacy also shows the power of journalism. This is one instance where exposing the story or not could have made a difference in how history was played out. The only method that I found truly unethical for Woodward and Bernstein was the action of contacting the juror in the Watergate court case. This actual is a crime and they almost faced serious consequences for breaking the law. Trying to coerce information out of a juror does cross a bit of an ethical line. Had the juror decided to give away information, Woodward and Bernstein could have been sent to jail. Also, the juror may have had to be removed from the case, thus delaying the trial. The one instance of blatant editorializing that struck me was Streitmatter referring to Nixon was the “mean-spirited, lying, foul-mouthed bigot” (pg.216). Regardless if this was truly reflective of Nixon’s personality or not, it just seems to be a blatant attack on Nixon by Streitmatter. It seems to showcase his own personal feelings of Nixon rather than simply stating the facts of the case. Streitmatter is clearly imputing his own views about Nixon rather than letting the reader decide for his or her self.

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