Movie Review: All the President's Men

Examining the Role of Journalism in Democracy

The role of journalism in society has changed drastically throughout the last couple decades. One event that contributed to this change is the Watergate scandal. The film All the President's Men focuses on the Watergate scandal, which brought down the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, were the two journalists investigating the Watergate Scandal for The Washington Post. This all began when Bob Woodward covered what seemed to be a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National headquarters. Later it was revealed that the break-in at the Watergate office complex was only one small part of a much larger network of intelligence, one which conducted behind the scene activities and transactions. Many of the activities were illegal.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein decided to look further into the illegal activity. With the help of a mysterious source, code-named Deep Throat, the two reporters uncovered a connections between the burglars and White House staffers. Deep Throat told Woodward to “follow the money to the top” and that's exactly what the reporters did.

Despite many warnings about their safety, the journalists kept digging. Their investigation opened up many questions for both the public and investigative journalism. The reporters felt obligated to pursue the story because the people of America deserved to know the truth. At a crucial moment in the film, Ben Bradlee editor of The Washington Post says, that “even though half of all Americans have no interest in the Watergate affair, the future of the nation may be riding on it.”

Journalism has profoundly and remarkably changed since the Watergate Scandal. It is a new era for journalism and will continue change. Journalists are typically known for gathering information and presenting it to an audience in an organized way. Journalists also educate the public about events and issues and explain how and why events might affect people’s lives.

But in recent years, journalism has changed in the way it is presented. Today journalism is focused on entertaining the public while also providing them with information the audience needs to hear. Thanks to the new and rapidly changing technology, journalists can present their information in many outlets and use many platforms so they can expand their audience.

All young people interested in history or journalism should watch All the President’s Men. This is a pulse-pounding film full of twists and turns. It is fascinating to watch the two young reporters do their detective work without really knowing where the story will lead them. In the end, they brought down an American president and changed history.

All the President’s Men also tells the story about journalism and why journalism is a crucial part of democracy. While the film takes place in the early 1970s, it has such meaning for our generation. Journalists act as watchdogs. And that will never stop being important.  

Excellent review. Well-written and timely. I liked how you connected to present state of journalism. Great job. The reporting on Watergate inspired many to pursue newspapering back in the 1970s. We still need reporters who will dig in for the real story. – Mike IveyMadison Wis 53715 (2018-12-19 21:27)
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