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Tell Us Your Favorite Family Films
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American kids learn all about the legacies of Washington and Lincoln in history class. To give President's Day a whole different spin, we watched All The President's Men and learned about a darker side of the American Presidency. The film follows Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two novice Washington Post reporters (played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman), who were assigned to cover a burglary at the National Democratic Headquarters. Deep Throat, the reporters' anonymous source, tells them "to follow the money" and the rest is, well, history. With courage and teamwork, the reporters unwind the political scandal that eventually leads to President Nixon's resignation. Part political thriller and part documentary, this film inspired a generation of reporters by showing the power of the press. The film's thriller plot lines play easily to a new generation, and we found ourselves hitting the pause button as we explained our own point of view on Watergate and presidential politics. Newsworthy, indeed.
We wanted our kids to get the inside scoop on how our local newspaper (The Los Angeles Times) arrives on their doorstep each morning. On a free tour of the printing facility, our daughters were wowed by a room full of robots criss-crossing the floor, like a modern version of The Jetsons. Fascinated, they watched the robotic workers lift enormous reams of paper up to a printing press four stories high. When the tour guide explained that each ream rolled out to almost eight miles of paper, they asked a hard-hitting question: was The Times environmentally conscious? Our tour guide was unflappable; he assured them that over 70% of the paper contains recycled newsprint. We also toured the editorial facilities of our paper, and could see all the newsrooms for the various sections of the paper, from news to book review. The girls learned the logistics of printing a daily paper, including the order of printing: the ads, comics and calendar sections are printed first, so that late night sports scores and breaking news like Democratic National Committee Headquarter burglaries, end up on the front page hours later - just in time for our morning cereal.
Visiting your Local Newspaper
Age Recommendation: over ten
Time Allotment: a morning