War of The Worlds and All the President’s Men

War of the Worlds

Listen to the original 1938 broadcast of War of The Worlds (1938, available on YouTube). Then listen to the broadcast on NPR’s Radiolab program (WNYC March 25, 2008) and explain why you think Orson Welles and subsequent broadcasters were able to get so many people into a state of panic and flight with a story that was far fetched and one which they told their audiences was fiction. Be prepared to discuss this in class. .

Below is the URL to download the program for the Radiolab story on repeat incidents of War of the Worlds in Ecuador and Buffalo. Please listen to it. Please also listen to the original 1938 broadcast (Orson Welles’ broadcast on YouTube. Why do you think the original was so successful and why did the experiment work in future broadcasts? Write your reactions as a 1-2 page double-spaced essay.

All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were young reporters at the The Washington Post when they were assigned to cover a bungled burglary at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate building. What started out looking like a simple break-in by some not-so-competent thieves led the journalists to a trail, a sophisticated cover-up involving some renowned politicians, Republican Party power brokers, and White House aides. To get at the truth, Woodward and Bernstein had to push hard to get very frightened employees and act like covert operators, meeting secretly with anonymous sources. Ultimately, what they uncovered led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

In your view, write a 1 and ½ page paper in which you evaluate what the journalists did, giving examples from the film of their extraordinary efforts and how their human and paper trail led them to the truth.

Then explain IN YOUR VIEW, IF AND WHY the way they got their information was justified.

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