Technology “Disrupting” Journalism and Teaching (Part 1)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Recently a few friends and I saw “All The President’s Men.” The 1976 film about the Watergate burglary in 1972, the subsequent cover up by the White House and eventual resignation of President Nixon in 1974 featured Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Robert Woodward.

As I watched the two-hour film unfold, these young investigative reporters ran down leads, established facts, verified sources, and pecked out their stories on typewriters– desktop computers didn’t enter newsrooms until the early 1980s. Constantly on landline phones in the newsroom checking out facts and sources, using street-corner telephone booths when they were checking out leads in the field, and jotting notes hurriedly as they interviewed and re-interviewed sources, the technology was clearly state-of-the-art for the early 1970s. The film (drawn from the book of the same name) is a textbook description of how investigative reporters go about their…

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