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Big story reporting: the historic Watergate scandal

Posted by: | March 18, 2016 | No Comment |

The Watergate complex located in Washington, D.C. covering a total area of 10 acres is well known by many due to the Watergate scandal. In 1972 the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee was located in the Hotel and Office Building on the sixth floor. It was broken into, and telephones got wiretapped and documents were also photographed. The investigation of this case would prove to be one of the biggest stories reported at that time, and would earn Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward widespread recognition. Gene Roberts would later on state that their reporting was, “maybe the greatest reporting effort of all time.”

The Washington Post teamed up two young journalists Woodward and Bernstein, and together they did most of the original news reporting on the case. As the two pursued reporting about the break in at the at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, they relied on an anonymous source “deep throat.” This source was Mark Felt whom was a high ranking official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to the Washington Post,

“With access to FBI reports on the burglary investigation, Felt could confirm or deny what other sources were telling The Post reporters. He also could tell them what leads to pursue. Woodward agreed to keep his identity secret, referring to him in conversations with colleagues only as “Deep Throat.” His identity would not become public until 2005, 33 years later.”

watching Nixon address the nation (source: www.utexas.edu)

After 33 years of speculation and guesses by everyone who knew of the case felt’s identity was revealed. Vanity Fair published a story titled, “I’m the guy they called deep throat.” The following day after it was published Woodward wrote a first person account of their relationship and how he relied on him for guidance throughout the scandal. Felt died on December 18, 2008 3 years after his identity was revealed.

Woodward and Bernstein coauthored the book All the President’s Men about the Watergate scandal in 1974. They also coauthored The Final Days about Nixon’s resignation in 1976.


(source: www.gettyimages.com)

Through helping uncover the Watergate crime, Woodward and Bernstein earned the Washington Post the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for public service. The public can view the reporters’ notes and the taped door that initially lead to the investigation. They are on display at the News Corporation News History Gallery at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C.

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(source: http://www.newseum.org/2015/05/31/watergate-case-study-deep-throat/ )

This is the only instance in U.S history where the reporting done by journalists has lead to the resignation of a president. The role of the press is truly significant as suggested by the results of the historic Watergate scandal.

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