Being two of the top newspaper publications in United States, New York Times and the Washington Post have been maintaining such competition through the years that evermore raises the quality of American journalism. Raising the bar can have fatal consequences as this requires an even greater pressure, and involves politicking among themselves and their contenders not to mention maintaining its integrity as institutions.
This is a fact that the major media companies are aware of, and therefore take such precautions to avoid them damage and at the same time bring them profits and glory. Being representatives of the most powerful country in the whole world, they can easily become prey to the critics as they are constantly being examined under the microscope. And this is when the media’s generals take their positions in the field, taking whatever risks to gain them the lead. The Washington Post’s story on the Watergate Scandal is probably one of the best investigative stories in the recent decades.
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It was the story that would have not been published without the blessing of its executive editor Benjamin Bradlee who chose to oversee the investigations being run by his writers Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein rather than stay away from the dangers and pressure brought about by the frenzied situation. His trust on the amount of impact of the story won him the gamble. The evidences dug in the story later on contributed to President Nixon’s eventual resignation.
After three more decades came the tragedy that shook the world- and the moment the New York Time’s executive editor Howell Raines had been waiting for, successfully commandeering his team of journalist amid the chaos of the September 11 bombing. The stirring portraits and stories of the publication delivered a powerful emotional blow to its readers across the country and helped shape the people’s minds in supporting Bush’s war against terror as they believe that it will bring justice to the dreadful acts of the country’s enemies.
His aggressive leadership has brought many changes in the organization despite the criticisms he had received. These are only two of the cases of media’s great battles won, two of the battles that will not have been won without the fortitude and confidence of Bradlee and Raines, for otherwise America will have been seeing a different picture. Today, there has been a growing number of critics since Bush’s failing war on terror with accusations that the media is being used by Bush to spread his propaganda.
The public watches and waits for the media’s next move as it enters a new stage. It has also been very influential in the last few decades since the advent of cable television and the internet which allowed them to serve a wider range of audiences and sequentially earn them more profits. It involves itself with war, controversies, scandals, clashes in political beliefs, religion and all the other things vital to people just to be able to deliver what the people need to know that journalists are sometimes even dubbed ‘muckrakers’.
The Watergate scandal is probably one of the most unforgettable triumphs of American news media when the investigative reportage from Washington Post’s Woodward and Bernstein triggered public outbursts which largely contributed to President Nixon’s resignation. It proudly displayed its power and steadfastness to America and to the rest of the world. And it is these media’s capabilities that make it one of the most successful industries in America, earning billions of dollars per annum from advertisements alone.
But their prominence nonetheless comes with a price. And such sentiments are a lot common nowadays since Bush failed to capture Osama Bin Laden in Al Qaeda followed by his unpopular war in Iraq. Although media has played a large part in both these wars, people still remain skeptical on its real agenda. Most people believe that the media is only being used for propaganda.
First, it should have been able to expose the truth and determine if Iraq was indeed capable of manufacturing weapons of mass destruction. It is quite arguable if media should even be blamed for it, for the people might simply be too disillusioned to even consider media’s side. American media is being put under more pressure as Bush also struggles to answer every question on why he failed, why he continues to fail and what he will do to avoid future mishaps.
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