I was around for most of the Watergate scandal, although my priorities at the time were either chillin' in my crib or wondering where my freaking pacifier had disappeared to. I do recall that it was a time most of America was disabused of their faith in the government, and with the revelation of the identity of Deep Throat, it has become a hot topic once again.
With the perspective of never having trusted the government in the first place, the biggest impact that the scandal had was, in my opinion, on the media. It was the first taste of power that the media had. Two reporters worked a story until a President unpopular within the profession was taken down.
From that point on, journalism was a profession from which an individual could change the world. Thirty years after the fact, the journalism school students of that day are the senior executives of their outlets. The entire culture is now based on the power of journalism. If one wishes to change the world, however, one has to have a sense of what changes would be good. Journalism, like science, can not have a set end goal in mind and still remain true to its ideals. With the black eyes of the false Bush memos or the NEWSWEEK Koran story, many people are distrusting the media in much the same way that they distrust the government. At least those who don't want the world to change the way the same way most reporters do, anyway.