Journalists Woodward and Bernstein exposed Watergate
When done with honesty and perseverance, journalism may unearth the hidden facts and make the powerful answer for their actions, as Woodward and Bernstein demonstrated. They represented the very best of American journalism and helped to establish it as a cornerstone of our democratic society. Their influence on investigative journalism has been unparalleled; they are exceptional individuals who represent America's enduring strength and dedication to the truth.
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, or just Woodward and Bernstein, are the names most commonly associated with one of the most important journalism investigations in U.S. history, the Watergate crisis. Their dogged investigations published in The Washington Post in the early 1970s helped bring down President Richard Nixon by revealing a web of widespread political wrongdoing.
The Unexpected Friendship of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
Bob Woodward was 29 years old in 1972 when he started working as a reporter for The Washington Post with Carl Bernstein, who was 28 at the time. They had different experiences and approaches to reporting, but their combined expertise was invaluable. While Bernstein was vivacious and outgoing, Woodward was methodical and restrained. As a unit, they were extremely effective as investigators.
On June 17, 1972, five men were apprehended after breaking into the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The episode may have seemed inconsequential at first, but Woodward and Bernstein saw beyond the surface.
Putting Two and Two Together: Going with their guts, the two doggedly investigated despite the skepticism of other media outlets. Their investigation into the burglaries and the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP) of Richard Nixon was painstaking. Through their investigations, they exposed the Nixon administration's top-down planning and execution of a major program of political surveillance and sabotage against the Democratic Party.
Their inquiry relied heavily on information provided by a high-ranking member in the Nixon administration whom Woodward only referred to as "Deep Throat." Meeting in secret in a parking garage, he provided information that reinforced their investigation. For many years, the true identity of "Deep Throat" was kept under wraps; it wasn't until 2005 that retired FBI associate director Mark Felt came forth as the leaker.
The persistent reporting of Woodward and Bernstein was crucial in exposing the Watergate crisis. Attorney General Richard Kleindienst, Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, and President Richard Nixon all resigned in the wake of the revelations on August 8, 1974.
Their reportage has been hailed as a landmark in investigative journalism, further validating the press's status as the Fourth Estate and an essential check on the power of government. Their "Woodstein" reporting approach, which prioritizes fieldwork, source development, and double-checking, has been copied by journalism programs and journalists all over the world.
Their best-selling book, "All the President's Men," was adapted into a popular film starring Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein. The film dramatized their work as journalists and helped establish their presence in the public consciousness.