The media has been a source of awareness for many years, as it seeks to find the truth about various issues in the society and ensure that citizens know the truth about those issues. The role of the media goes far back in the 1970s, where the press sought to influence the society positively by investigating distorted assumptions of individuals in the community. At the time, the most memorable outrage was the Watergate scandal depicted by the film ‘All the President’s men.’ The film was about two famous journalists, Bernstein and Woodward, who exposed the Watergate scandal.
The two reporters investigated the scandal to call out immoral and corrupt politicians. Their report brought the truth of the matter, resulting in the resignation of President Nixon from power. At the time, many newspapers were dismissing the scandal and accusing people in public. The two reporters saw that there was something not right since many politicians hired top lawyers to make sure the information regarding the scandal remained a secret (Bernstein and Woodward, 34). The reporters not only uncovered the corruption that was within the government but also discovered other incriminating evidence, which showed how the president received funding for his re-election.
We can do it today.
The movie ‘All the President’s men’ is a classic film in which the media accurately represented the story without any room for dispute and distortions. The movie displayed appropriate traits of journalisms, which every reporter should have. For example, it portrayed traits such as confidentiality, where all people’s identity interviewed for information remained secret to safeguard their lives from powerful politicians (Bernstein and Woodward 55). Also, it informed the audience about the politicians they vote for and the actions that occur in the government, ensuring they have enough knowledge to make appropriate assumptions and opinions about their government representatives. The whole movie is a demonstration of an accurate account of journalism.
The movie indicates how it is essential for the media to relay the truth to the public. However, the process of investigation and broadcasting faces many ethical issues, as elaborated in the movie ‘Good Night and Good Luck.’ The film is about another famous reporter, Edward Murrow who worked at CBS news. The time for broadcasting was in the 1950s, a period of the McCarthy Era or Red Scare. It was a time of communism (Clooney et al. 10). The profession of journalism was vigilant at the time, as many broadcasting stations were afraid of false accusations, as it made them lose their jobs.
The red scare gave Senator McCarthy the opportunity to convict suspected traitors. However, Murrow and the CBS teams were both determined in opposing the senator’s harsh practices of justice. It was a dangerous time. Murrow’s stance made the station lose a lot of money as they could no longer get any advertisers. His fellow reporters also faced threats from the military, as there were many attacks on other newspaper stations and even killings of other reporters (Clooney et al. 112). During this period the media lacked the confidence to decide whether they should or should not convey the truth in fear of their lives and job security. The stance Murrow took is a demonstration that truth in journalism is the first priority, as his action saved many lives. It showed the power the media had to influence a change of governance, which would later benefit many.
- Bernstein, Carl, and Bob Woodward. All the President’s Men. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014. Print.
- Clooney, George, David Strathairn, Robert Downey, Patricia Clarkson, Ray Wise, Frank Langella, Robert Elswit, and Jim Papoulis. Good Night and Good Luck. Montreal: TVA Films, Vaughan, ON: Criterion-on-Demand, 2013. Internet resource.