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Anonymous Sources: To use or not to use, Watergate Case Study: ‘Deep Throat

Grade Level Grades 6-12
Resource Type Activity
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards
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Decades after the Watergate scandal, Mark Felt publicly revealed that he was the mysterious "Deep Throat” who guided two Washington Post reporters in their investigation. We offer a case study that examines the reliance on a source who insists on not being identified.

This case helps students see how important it is for journalists to check and double check information passed on to them by sources, especially anonymous ones.

Students, in groups, should discuss this case and explain the response they’ve chosen. There are questions to help guide the discussion, as well as “The Real Story" for teachers to share with students afterward.

Resources

Files

Watergate-Ethics-Case-Study.pdf

Activity
February 13, 2020
0.7 MB
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Standards

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

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