Today we discussed the Watergate scandal and the effect this event went on to have on journalism. In 1972, there was a break-in attempt at the hotel that was known as the home of the Democratic National Committee. After this report was published, a lot of public scrutiny arose around the then president Richard Nixon. After investigation by the two main journalists covering this story (Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post), it became clear that Nixon had abused his powers for many years. We said that the press played an incredibly vital role in Nixon’s downfall because following these revelations made by the press, Nixon was forced to resign his precedency early. These dramatic events took place only because of great investigative work of the two journalists who dug up all information relating to this case. They acted as a true ‘fourth estate’: the press had access to information that was essential and of great interest to the public to in turn help them make responsible choices. In this situation, the press held power to account and investigated to see whether elected representatives in the form of a president behaved the way they were expected to. The journalists exposed the man who was in charge of running the country, and thus the White House, of having involvement in a cover-up. Academics argued that this was a milestone in American Journalism as it set the example of what good journalism ought to be like; investigative by digging up information and questioning key figures to ensure a fair and democratic society.


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