• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The dissemination of democratic ideals, the propulsion of public information and the institution of free speech are in the eye

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Television media, war and truth An informed public is the cornerstone of modern society. An informed public during wartime leads to a healthy democracy. Though the media shares a special connection with wartime reporting, disseminating information of major news value, it often keeps the truth masked and reality covered. The media establishment profited by periods of rapid technological change through the 1970s and 80s, and as television reporting grew sophisticated, concepts of truth and reality were shaped by the immediacy of visual content. This essay, in light of the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and Iraq War, will outline how the impact of television coverage during wartime, political manoeuvring, and the atrophy of journalistic standards, has shaped our view of reality and truth. Television coverage of the Vietnam War, as the first televised war, reached audiences around the world. Conflicts of interest between journalistic integrity and nationalistic sentiments served to undermine the media's coverage of the war. The Washington Post announced on Aug. 5, 1964 "American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression". Subsequently the New York Times reported "President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and 'certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam' after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin." Though there was no evidence of a "second attack" by North Vietnam, President Johnson in a speech delivered on Aug. ...read more.

Middle

The American Administration, evidence later indicated, utilized television images and newspaper reports to convince the public that Iraqi troops were threatening to invade oil rich Saudi Arabia. Though satellite images taken of Saudi Arabia's border detailed a small number of Iraqi troops, U.S newspapers, news magazines and television networks drummed up reportage in line with the Administration's political agenda. Independent press and peace activists argued against the deployment of U.S troops to the area campaigning for a UN peace-keeping force to be sent. But such sentiments did not percolate into the U.S media. Although television coverage saturated airwaves to summon public support for a U.S invasion of the Persian Gulf, television feeds of suffering Kurds, and other Iraqis, prompted large segments of the public against military solutions for conflicts in the Middle East. Mark Rozell Professor of public policy at George Mason University punctuated the impact of wartime television coverage by citing a Gallup Poll: A January 1991 Gallup Poll revealed that 89 percent of the American people identified television as their main source of information about the war; only 8 percent of the American people identified radio and 2 percent newspapers. The U.S led invasion of Iraq saw satellite internet and television, and further sophistication in television equipment, help the myriad U.S news agencies who invested their time in covering the war. ...read more.

Conclusion

The notion of absolute truth and reality of television coverage is undermined by the representations of Al Jazeera as both a "mouth piece of the zionists" and a "mouth piece of Osama Bin Laden"11. Al Jazeera cutting to commercials plays a 30-60 second montage of American war planes, American bombs exploding and American army tanks across the desert. These images have come under criticism from U.S Press Officers. Dichotomies of interest will remain affirms U.S military Press Officer Lt. Josh Rushing as long as Al Jazeera & U.S media continue to play to their respective audiences: When I watch Al Jazeera I can tell what they're showing and what they're not by choice. It's the same thing when I watch Fox at the other end of the spectrum. It benefits Al Jazeera to play to Arab nationalism Just like Fox plays to American patriotism. Because that's their demographic12. Incessantly rolling out television images the media oversimplifies the coverage of war. An informed media - covering factual stories free from political slant - is increasingly important in a growing democracy. The media coverage of the Vietnam War led to degradation in journalistic integrity; the Persian Gulf conflict deepened political ties between the American Administration and the media; Iraq War is covered by a multitude of U.S news agencies but also an Arabic television news channel. Though the wars were covered by the media in different lights the widening political influence and diminishment of journalistic cannons have been common threads that have shaped our understanding of truth and reality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. The California Gold Rush.

    However, despite these variables, the ambition of the prospectors made these harsh conditions appear to be minor inconveniences. The trip by sea was rough, but the journey by landing was equally demanding. Many took a route than began by crossing the Missouri River and went through the Rocky Mountains into Nevada and ending in California.

  2. The Not So Free.

    the major was clearly speaking in a fresh tone of voice, the guy on the control panel was clearly relieved that his ordeal with the general was over and some one else has intervened. The general suddenly recognising the voice turns to face the Major, everyone in the room looks

  1. The role of foreign policy on democratic transitions in Armenia and Azerbaijan

    Gorbachev then set about decentralizing the management of enterprises requiring that they administer their own finances, in order to make them profitable. Those who did not meet the standard were to be shut down. On May 1st 1988, Gorbachev allowed for the limited opening of private enterprises.

  2. Analysis of Vietnam Renunciation Speech - Lyndon B. Johnson General: ...

    This links itself to the next paragraph, where Lyndon Johnson attaches himself personally to the struggle. "I know the pain that it has inflicted". Here he speaks directly to the nation and everyone affected by the war, and - as the great leader he is - includes himself in that group.

  1. Britain 1895-1918 June 2004

    Britain wanted to preserve their Empire and maintain their own European strength. What happens to France and Belgium was unimportant unless Germany or any other country became a direct Naval threat towards Britain. There were economic conflicts between Germany and Britain from 1898 onwards.

  2. American Public Opinion During Vietnam.

    philosophy summed it up with the quote "Turn on and drop out". They saw the war as a thing they could fight against, and so held protests and peaceful demonstrations against the war. All over the country there were strikes and demonstrations at universities.

  1. 'Analysis of a speech' - Political Communication.

    Every one of the proposals I've talked about tonight he's called a risky scheme over and over again. It is the sum of his message, the politics of the roadblock, the philosophy of the stop sign." He's saying here: we are very brave.

  2. American Public Opinion during Vietnam.

    The reality was that it all lasted for far too long. As the body bags mounted up the Americans started to question their involvement. Wounded soldiers and veterans came home with stories of how they were encouraged to kill anything that moved.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work