Acting as the Public Representative The media sometimes acts as a public representative by holding government officials accountable on behalf of the people. Many people argue that the media is ill equipped to play this role because the media does not face the same type of accountability that politicians face. Serving as the representative of the public, moreover, could undermine the media’s objectivity because the act of representing the people might require reporters to take a position on an issue. Example: The classic example of watchdog journalism, or activist reporting that attempts to hold government officials and institutions accountable for their actions, is the Watergate investigations of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The Washington Post reporters doggedly pursued allegations of campaign misdeeds and presidential crimes despite the fact that many Americans did not care. Journalists have exposed many other government scandals and misdeeds, including the Iran-Contra affair and
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