Its no coincidence that journalism remains the preferred secret identity for superheroes. The correlation between news reporting and crime fighting dates back for decades. You and your students can learn about how that relationship works for non-cape-wearing law enforcement by visiting G-Men and Journalists: Top News Stories of the FBI’s First Century.
G-Men and Journalists, a website based on an exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, DC, explores how the press played a huge part in the FBI’s investigations of gangsters like John Dillinger, terrorists such as the Unabomber, spies, snipers and more. Match famous headlines to the feds and felons who inspired them. Watch videos detailing how two guys terrorized our nation’s capital with a rifle and a Chevy Caprice. Also learn how Bureau Director J. Edgar Hoover courted the press, providing juicy tips to reporters who then wrote laudatory stories highlighting the FBI’s scientific, team-oriented investigations. The FBI’s courtship of the press helped mold the tough, all-seeing, not-to-be-trifled-with Bureau image we know today.
If you happen to live in Washington, DC, or are near enough for a field trip, you can see the G-Men and Journalists exhibit first-hand at the Newseum, billed as the world’s most interactive museum. If you can’t, the Newseum website has a lot of great information, including daily scans of the front pages of the leading newspapers in the United States. If your students crave something more adventurous, G-Men and Journalists shows they can find it not just in superhero comics, but also in the news. -BILL FERRIS