Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's Movie: All the President's Men

(Watch the movie and answer the following questions):
1. Analyze the impact the Post's coverage of Watergate had on investigative journalism.
2. Criticize or defend, techniques used by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
3. Discuss the proper use of anonymous and unnamed sources. Discuss the controversy surrounding the use of anonymous sources.
4. Using history and the resignation of President Nixon, discuss the power of the media and its treatment of public officials during and since the Nixon administration.

3 comments :

ChrisU.S. said...

2. Criticize or defend, techniques used by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. I believe they did excellent work. The only problem with their style was too much secrecy with the informants’ identities, which many people (as I state in Q3) could interpret as false/created stories.
3. Discuss the proper use of anonymous and unnamed sources. You may say that a source helped you find certain information, but you may not tell whom it was, where they live, or any info related to them. Discuss the controversy surrounding the use of anonymous sources. The controversy with it is that if people don’t know your source, many could assume that you didn’t use one, just made up the information to get publicity.

Lea Hansen-George said...

chrisu.s.-Indeed there is a lot of controversy over the use of anonymous sources. Some justify the use of anonymous sources by saying that certain stories would never come out if a journalist insisted someone go "on the record." For example, think of "whistle-blowers" of government and corporate misconduct stories...I'm thinking of the movie "The Insider" as an example. It's based on a true story involving CBS News...in particular "60 Minutes." I have more on the blog about this story. Basically, any story that could result in someone losing their job, reputation or even their life. These are reasons some insist on anonymity.

This satisfies another project requirement.

Aagaard_US said...

All the President’s Men
Emerson Aagaard


1. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein helped evolve investigative journalism during Watergate by seriously pushing the envelope of what’s expected and what you are allowed to do as an investigative journalist. They did many things to secure believable information that regarded the Watergate scandal.
2. Woodward and Bernstein did things such as going to people’s houses for information and using anonymous sources. I suppose nothing’s really wrong with using anonymous sources just as long as the journalist has proven to do intelligent investigation in the past and will only use anonymous sources if they think it may be eventually credible.
3. The problem with using anonymous sources is that anybody could say that they heard this or that from some anonymous person, or if someone actually did say something about someone as an anonymous source, it could be exaggerated because the source is not afraid of offending anyone personally. Anonymous sources can be helpful because sometimes they’re the only way to access information (that is, if someone is only willing to give up information if they know that they won’t be on the record for saying it).
4. Because of the Watergate scandal and its investigation, journalist today are generally more committed to getting the truth out there, and politicians are equally more careful with who they get involved with…or how well they cover up their mistakes…