Title of movie analyzed: All the President’s Men
1. Brief synopsis of the person, event, conflict on which the film is based.
A. Break in at Democratic headquarters, the Watergate Hotel
B. Washington Post reporters Woodward and Bernstein picked up the story
C. Investigation leads to finding the CRP is involved in the break-in
D. Washington Post continues to fuel the investigation
2. Major themes/frames of the film.
A. Inferiority and weakness of women
B. “Dynamic duo” partnership of Woodward and Bernstein
C. Corruption in the government positions, journalistic ethics in reporting this corruption
3. Major differences between historical record, coverage in The New York Times (or other news sources) & film translation.
A. Several important characters were modified or completely left out of the movie.
B. The movie only covers the first seven months of the investigation.
C. The relationship between Woodward and Bernstein was incorrectly portrayed on screen.
4. Major similarities between historical record, coverage in The New York Times (or other news sources) & film translation.
A. Detail of The Washington Post offices was very accurate.
B. Interviews that Woodward and Bernstein conducted were depicted correctly.
C. The time period was depicted accurately.
5. What ideological perspectives are reinforced or challenged?
A. Journalists are concerned with ethics and duty to the public: reinforced
B. Government officials are honest in their dealings: challenged
6. How do the filmmakers represent journalism and journalism ethics?
A. Do the characters make ethical decisions?
Yes. Woodward and Bernstein were faced with many ethical decisions in the film and consistently chose to keep with the Society of Professional Journalist’s code of ethics.
B. Relate specifically to the various Codes of Ethics for journalists.
According to the Society of Professional Journalism, Woodward and Bernstein kept within the bounds of the code of ethics. Although the way they gathered some of their information in the film could be considered unethical, the code states that a publics need to know overrules privacy in some cases. Also since no other ways of obtaining information would have yielded results due to the extremely sensitive nature of the investigation, the pair was justified for using “surreptitious” and obscure methods.
The reporters also followed the code of ethics by minimizing collateral harm. In the film there were many people who put themselves at great risk to disclose information about the scandal and Woodward and Bernstein refused to disclose their identities though it could have helped their story. In doing so they helped protect the people who weren’t part of the scandal from unnecessary injury.
Finally the pair followed the code by being accountable for any mistakes they made. Near the end of the film, they made an error that nearly cost them their career but neither of them backed away from the blame.
7. What is privileged—Truth or Truthiness? Relate to media effects theories and media literacy concepts. How does the film construct a specific version of reality and what is the significance of the Hollywood version? In other words, whose stories are told? Whose stories are omitted? What is the significance of how the story is framed?
A. The story of Woodward and Bernstein is told for the first seven months of their investigation though the latter half of the investigation was left out.
B. The perspective of Nixon and his administration are left out entirely. This is an example of gate keeping and agenda setting. On the one hand, the filmmakers are blocking off one whole side of the story and on the other hand they are showing their audience exactly what to think about while watching their movie.
C. You only see the side of the investigation, rather than what’s actually happening. You see the facts as they’re being revealed through the investigation instead of how they’re being enacted in real life. This is another example of gate keeping because, although much is shown through the investigation, the things going on that aren’t directly related to the scandal but could still be relevant are omitted.
8. Team member names and role each played. Be specific.
Hillary Dodd- Sexism against women, research on themes and frames and similarities and differences, helped with the conclusion, worked on the fun facts and preformed the song.
Addison M.T. Hall- Worked on the similarities and differences, editing the blog, helping to write the conclusion, and writing out key points in the outline.
Kyle Heywood- Worked on the similarities and differences reviewed the journalistic ethics used by the reporters and the Post.
Jordan Gee- Wrote the background and character analyses, worked on the fun facts of the film, researched themes and frames and the history of the actual cover-up.
Clayton Leuba- Researched accounts from the New York Times, edited the blog, recorded and edited the song, compiled and burned the film clips, organized the project and worked on themes and frames.
9. Works Cited
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Shales, Tom, Tom Zitto, and Jaenette Smyth. “When Worlds Collide: Lights! Camera! Ego!.” Washington Post [Washington D.C.] 11 APR 1974, n. pag. Web. 18 Nov. 2012.
“The Watergate Story.” The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 18 Nov 2012. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/watergate/timeline.html>.
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Woodward, Bob, and Carl Bernstein. All The President’s Men. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974. Print.
Woodward, Bob. “How Mark Felt Became ‘Deep Throat’.” The Washington Post. The Washington Post, 20 2005. Web. 18 Nov 2012. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-mark-felt-became-deep-throat/2012/06/04/gJQAlpARIV_story.html>.