Reporters doing a great job

Monday, October 6, 2008

By: Shauna Agan

Last Tuesday I attended the play “Frost Nixon” at the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the history behind this play, “Frost Nixon” is about David Frost and the interviews he conducted with Richard Nixon after the Watergate Scandal and after Nixon resigned from presidency.

Many reporters during this time period were racking their brains trying to find a way to get Nixon to sit down and do even one interview with them. Much to the American people’s surprise, Frost was the one Nixon finally agreed to sit down with.

Frost was a British reporter with a playboy reputation. Nixon believed that if Frost was the interviewer, he would not be faced with difficult questions and the American people would love him again.

The play “Frost Nixon” showed the interviews between these two gentlemen and the media process that was put into preparing for these interviews. It allowed the audience to see the staff on both sides of the interview preparing for the questions and determining strategies for the interviews.

Rather than asking the easy questions Nixon had hoped for, Frost’s staff decided that Frost would jump right into the interview with challenging questions about the Watergate Scandal.

The strategy used goes against everything we have learned in class about interviewing, and at first, the strategy backfired against Frost and his co-workers.

There were a series of four interviews conducted, and during the last interview, Frost finally got Nixon to answer to the American people. Nixon was forced to answer questions about Watergate. He was forced to admit that he was wrong during the cover-up.

This play was a great production about the media coverage during this important historical event. It did an excellent job of showing the audience, especially those individuals like myself who were not alive during the events of Watergate, what really happened.

Before going to “Frost Nixon”, I had knowledge about the scandal behind Watergate, but little knowledge about the media coverage of Watergate. I knew that two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, broke the Watergate Scandal, but the aftermath is often times not told.

The whole scandal goes to show how important media coverage is. Reporters are the ones who found out about Watergate, and an interviewer was the one who forced Nixon to apologize.

Regardless of what anyone says, media is significantly important, especially in politics. Media forces individuals to be honest with the public.

Although media cannot discover every detail behind every scandal, the media is doing a great job of making people tell the truth to the public.


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