Natl. Scholastic Journalism Week 2019 Day 4 – #SavingDemocracy

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Natl. Scholastic Journalism Week 2019 Day 4 – #SavingDemocracy

The staff of the Chatterbox has been proud to serve the Walnut community since 1922.

The staff of the Chatterbox has been proud to serve the Walnut community since 1922.

Wally Hill

The staff of the Chatterbox has been proud to serve the Walnut community since 1922.

Wally Hill

Wally Hill

The staff of the Chatterbox has been proud to serve the Walnut community since 1922.

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Journalism has always had a large role in American democracy. Even during the Revolutionary War, papers like the Boston Gazette provided important information to the masses, and served as sources for secret messages for American spies. Since its founding, the United States has valued the freedom of the press, explicitly protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution, and this value is closely held to the hearts of many in our society.

More recently in American history, journalism has proved integral to the citizen’s check on governmental power. Thousands of whistle blowers have sent leaks and reports of misconduct to newspapers and news websites, using their audiences to bring justice to our government and leaders. Without the power of the press, the American political landscape would be unrecognizable.

The most significant example of the press’ influence in society started in 1972, what later became known as the Watergate Scandal. President Richard Nixon instructed members of his re-election campaign team to break into the offices of the Democratic Party to steal information. These burglars were caught, and the story began. Two investigative reporters from The Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, tracked the Watergate story for months, gathering information from anonymous sources that linked the break-in to Nixon. After publishing their story, the investigation into Nixon ramped up, eventually resulting in Nixon resigning the presidency in 1974.

These two men and their reporting took down the President of the United States, proving that nobody is above the law, and nobody could hide anything perfectly. Through their reporting they proved the power of journalism to preserve the spirit of American democracy, just like it had been for the last 200 years.

Woodward and Bernstein never revealed their anonymous source, known as ‘Deep Throat’, until the man himself confirmed the rumors in 2005. He was Mark Felt, the second in charge of the whole FBI. By standing by their journalistic principle, they were #SavingDemocracy.

The great work of political journalists doesn’t stop there however. Every president and every senator has been dogged by reporters who ensure that our government is in line with American values. The Chatterbox is proud to continue this tradition in reporting on events around WHHS and around Cincinnati that help the student body, and do what little we can to be #SavingDemocracy.