Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became the most famous journalists in America between the years of 1972 and 1976, forever shaping investigative journalism as we know it today. Their work has inspired countless individuals to enter the field of journalism. 40 years after their uncovering of the Watergate scandal, the mark they left on journalism will forever go down in history.
Woodward and Bernstein covered what can be considered the biggest story in American politics. The pair began by investigation the “third-rate burglary” of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex. Five men were reportedly arrested while trying to photograph documents and place bugging devices in the office. The journalists stuck with this story to find all the facts of this burglary, as they published stories on the front page of the Washington Post showing the connection between the burglary and President Nixon’s campaign organization.
They uncovered crimes that eventually led to indictments of forty White House officials and the result of their reporting led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Not only were these men dedicated to finding the truth, but they showed the power that journalists have. Through their example, journalists and the world can see how important reporting can be to shine a light on circumstances that should not remain in the dark. Through their investigative reporting, Woodward and Bernstein was able to bring justice to corruption.
Their journalistic skills have paved the way for many other reporters to expose the truth. Their legacy will always remain a defining moment in journalism.
The work they have done has been applied to all beats in reporting. In the area of health reporting to be specific, the public has been aware of the corruption concerning the government, those who regulate FDA standards and big companies like Monsanto. Would the public know about such issues if Woodward and Bernstein did not set the stage and tone of reporting and inspired people to embark in this field?
With the means of communication now, would an uncovering of a Watergate-like scandal even happen today? The internet could be both a blessing and a curse for a journalist in this aspect, but our jobs are simply to report the facts, to uncover stories, and to tell the truth- no matter what the circumstances. The way in which we can find the facts and get the facts out there have only increased.
Check out this video of the 40th anniversary of Watergate with Woodward and Bernstein.