Topic: While brainstorming for a topic for our project, we considered the commonalities between individuals that we believed took a stand in history and what really intrigued us. At first we had a trouble deciding as there were so many influential people that we were interested in learning more about. However, we soon realized that governments and policy was a topic that we both did not have a knowledge on but were very curious about. From this, we narrowed our list down to Patsy Mink and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Patsy Mink took a stand through creating policy while Woodward and Bernstein took a stand by exposing corruption in our government. Although Mink would have been a very interesting topic, we decided that we were very interested in how journalism and media connects to government especially in light of current events.
Research: We began our research by looking for modern articles that described what Watergate was because these articles include facts from the 1970’s and now. We were very careful about what sites we used and always double checked the information to ensure credibility. We then looked for the original Washington Post articles that the reporters wrote regarding Watergate. This allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of how Watergate was viewed during the 1970’s, which helped us figure out what risks Bernstein and Woodward were taking. Lastly, we checked out All the President’s Men by Woodward and Bernstein from our library. By reading this book we were able to gain a personal understanding of the endeavors Woodward and Bernstein went through while trying to expose the truth, as well as their thought processes during the investigation.
Category and Creation: After choosing our topic, we decided that an exhibit or website would best showcase our findings. Although both are visually appealing, websites are more interactive, and exhibits are more for looking at. However, we ultimately decided on a website. A website would allow us to show a variety of sources, work at home collaboratively, and interact with a viewer. We created five subtopics based on our research that proved and gave information on how Woodward and Bernstein took a stand in history. Then, we wrote text, revised, and found primary source images, quotes and more. Lastly, we designed our website so that it connected with our topic and theme and tied our project together.
Theme Connection: Our project relates to the NHD theme “Taking a Stand” because Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein worked to expose the truth during a time when newspapers would rarely criticize the government’s actions. Instead of conforming to the current newspaper standards, they openly criticized the president’s actions. They were hit with many negative comments, but they continued their investigation because they knew that what they were doing was right, taking a stand for the truth.