In Visit To UND, Famed Newspaper Editor, Featured In Oscar-Nominated ‘the Post,’ Foretold Pitfalls Of Celebrity Journalism

Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee talks with UND journalism students during a visit in 1977. His leadership and journalistic ethics are the subjects of the 2018 Oscar-nominated movie, “The Post.” Photo by Richard Larson/UND Today.

This year, one of the biggest motion pictures in the country is “The Post.”

It recounts the tense journalistic moments experienced by the editorial staffs of The Washington Post and The New York Times, but specifically The Post, in 1971, on whether to publish stories about a 30-year cover up surrounding the Vietnam War that would be damaging to the Nixon Administration and others.

A key figure in the tale – in real life and in the movie’s portrayal – is then-Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, played in the film by Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks alongside another Academy all-star in Meryl Streep, who shines as Katharine “Kay” Graham, then publisher of The Post.

The Steven Spielberg-directed movie has already grossed more than $67 million in the U.S. alone and is nominated for two Academy Awards for best actress, Streep, and best picture.

To read about his visit to UND in 1977, click here.