All the President's Men and Investigate Journalism

Essay by isabellamargaretCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2007

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Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, journalists of The Washington Post, teamed up and wrote the book All the President's Men, which later became a movie starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. The story is centered on their reporting during the Watergate scandal. Woodward and Bernstein used impressive investigative journalism tactics and methods to uncover the mystery piece by piece, starting with a break-in story and building a case that would eventually lead to Nixon's resignation-- a case that would change their lives and careers forever.

The movie began with the break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in D.C.. A security guard at the Hotel found a door taped so that it wouldn't latch. Five men were caught and arrested that night at the hotel. The majority of media just played it as a single event and it received little coverage. It was The Washington Post that decided to dig a little deeper into the case.

This is a prime example of investigative journalism at it's best.

Investigative journalism can be defined in many ways. One of the many definitions of term is as follows:"Investigative journalism is a kind of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a topic of interest, often involving crime, political corruption, or some other scandal" (Investigative Journalism, 1).

Woodward and Bernstein demonstrated exceptional investigative journalism in the film. They were determined, yet patient while pursuing leads. They were hardworking and careful. One scene in the film in particular showed just how persistent they were. They went over all of the library records one by one, being extremely careful not to miss anything. Woodward has said himself that they had to work very hard back in those days before computers.

These two journalists were very savvy in the way they handled their sources. They...