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The Role of the Media in The Contemporary World Arena.

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The Contemporary World Arena: EUA601 The Role of the Media in The Contemporary World Arena The media dominates the Contemporary World Arena in the 21st century, as it is the primary source for individuals to observe various world events as they happen. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11th 2001 were a clear example of the media bringing the Contemporary World Arena extremely close to home. CNN were able to deliver live coverage of the second plane crashing into the south tower at 9.03a.m1. Shock waves reverberated around the world; such is the power of the media and the subject it broadcast. September 11th was a shock, anyone watching the live pictures was constantly updated with more horrifying images: the pentagon in flames, United Airlines flight 93 crashing in Pennsylvania, the stories coming through of hundreds of fireman inside the buildings whilst they collapsed. The ability of broadcasting companies to televise live feeds around the world has led in the 1990's to the 'CNN effect'. ...read more.


Meanwhile various newspapers and television companies had months of speculation, unlike September 11th where the world was shocked by 20 minutes of terrorists attacks in New York, the lead up to the war in Iraq was gradual. At the outbreak of war, many news corporations such as the BBC had had journalists following troops for weeks and the invasion that followed was filmed literally from the battlefield. Whether this was a positive aspect of wartime journalism was questionable. On the one hand we were seeing from the British and American perspective the ease in which Western machinery ploughed through southern Iraq, but on the other many saw the horror of war, the children killed in cross fire, the inevitable bombed hospital, the father who loses his entire family to a stray American bomb. The bomb that hit BBC world affairs editor John Simpson's convoy, which was so graphically reported the following night (Sunday, 6 April 2003) ...read more.


The radio is cheap and effective and unlike newspapers is hard to censor, it can be received by nearly anyone; "probably the most broadly used medium for disseminating information abroad" (K.J.Holsti. 1995, p160)6. This alone can make it an incredibly powerful propaganda tool. It can be used to justify political foreign policies and strengthen argument. But many Western states have no direct control over broadcasters, so just as elated Iraqi citizens thrash a large statue of Saddam Hussein in the heart of Baghdad as it lays strewn on the street, the horrific stories of innocent children, killed or wounded, send out entirely different questions on the justification for war. One commentator stated that: "Images - especially of human suffering - are often held to have an inescapably emotive effect on those exposed to them" (White, Little & Smith. 2001, P220)7, and it is this tool, especially in the 21st century and the easing of broadcast censorship that can allow news and the media to hold such political power in today's world arena. "...political actors (...) exist in the power game through and by the media". (David Held & Anthony McGrew. ...read more.

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