As a teenager, I was fascinated by Watergate, reading the Post and Times coverage in their original format -- printed newspapers.
I was often found, 1972-74, talking incessantly about Watergate, with intelligent people at my high school and local college, including students, teachers, professors and workers
For six days in the Spring of 1974, I was declared persona non grata in our high school library, punished by our librarian, Ms. Gould, after being found guilty of talking (about Watergate, nactch).
I watched the Watergate hearings gavel-to-gavel,
We cheered President Richard Nixon's resignation.
We watched it live, on a small black and white television, in my mother's office at Camden County College in Blackwood, N.J. the morning of August 9, 1974.
A short fortnight later, my parents drove me south, to begin life as a Georgetown University freshman in Washington, D.C.
Before our classes began, I volunteered to work for Senator Ted Kennedy's mailroom (it was the day after we heard Ralph Nader speak at Gaston Hall, on the Feast of St. Augustine, August 28).
- Washington Post coverage of Watergate inspired my college choice, choice of majors, college internships and undergraduate work for three Senators and investigative reporting work on coal slurry pipelines.
- It inspired my longtime approach to whistleblower protection, government corruption, nuclear weapons plant pollution and nuclear power plant abuses.
I reckon that we made a difference with our small weekly tabloid, the Appalachian Observer. Some Anderson County Courthouse denizens must have thought so, for they held a party celebrating my departure the day that I began law school at Memphis State University in 1983.)
Barry Sussman, who was the Washington Post editor who supervised Woordward & Bernstein recently wrote: "In the years since Watergate the news media have changed a great deal. In part the story is one of the decline of print and the advance of technology. In 1970 there were about seventeen hundred eighty daily newspapers in America, in 2020 there were about twelve hundred sixty. Most that still exist have a smaller news hole than they used to, and far fewer reporters and editors. Typically, local and state coverage is skimpy; some important stories are not even covered."
Exhibit A is the incredible shrinking St. Augustine Record.
Here is former Washington Post editor Barry Sussman's assessment of investigative reporting during and since Watergate. from. https://www.thewatergatestory.com/the-press-since-watergate-getting-better-and-worse-at-the-same-time/:
THE PRESS SINCE WATERGATE: GETTING BETTER AND WORSE AT THE SAME TIME