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The Exchange

The Pentagon Papers, The Post, and Journalism in 2018

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Tom Hanks portrays Ben Bradlee, left, and Meryl Streep portrays Katharine Graham in a scene from "The Post." (Niko Tavernise/20th Century Fox via AP)

With the release of Steven Spielberg's movie, The Post, we look back at the battle between the Post and the Nixon Administration over the Pentagon Papers, a secret government study about the Vietnam War that revealed the government’s lies about U.S. involvement in the conflict. The movie focuses on Katharine Graham's role as publisher of the Washington Post, as well as the constant balance between keeping government secrets classified and the need for transparency in government.

This program will air on Monday, February 19, at 9 a.m., and will be rebroadcast again at 7 p.m.  It was originally broadcast on January 10, 2018.


  • Kurk Dorsey - UNH professor of history 
  •  Meg Heckman -  assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University

 Here's the trailer for The Post movie:

Here's a USA Today article by Meg Heckman about The Post movie and the #MeToo movement.
The New York Times published an article in Dec. 2017 recalling the race to publish and the court battle over the Pentagon Papers.