The Media, the War, and a World Changed
By Sam Connors
The Vietnam War is a time of great strife for the many people affected during the 1960’s. Much of what we know about war is what the media tells us. Media during the Vietnam conflict is important aspect of this time period. It had significant influence on American support of the war. The media created a negative image of the Vietnam War, and was a factor in the end of the war. New media methods made this possible. During the 60’s, the media took on new roles, thus gaining new influence. Media influence was so strong, political leaders have stated their opinion on the media’s influence in Vietnam, and the media has never been given so much freedom since. The media was a very influential part of the Vietnam Conflict.
New media methods such as the development of cameras and video created a detailed and complex view of Vietnam. The distribution of information had advanced as well, which brought about early forms of global communication. The development and distribution of the televisio In 1964, 58 percent of America said television; 56 percent, newspapers; 26 percent, radio; and 8 percent, magazines. By 1972, 64 percent said television while the number of respondents who primarily relied on newspapers dropped to 50 percent (Hallin, 1986, p.106). The technology had advanced far enough to give the American public a nearly real-time insight of the war. The men and women gathering this information, the reporters, had also changed from previous world events. Reporters were allowed to be on the front-lines during battles, while previously they’d only been allowed on the fields of war after the battles. Because no military censorship was established, journalists could follow the military into combat and report their observations without formal censorship. Thus, as journalists saw more grisly combat, they presented the public with more graphic images. Also, for the first time, interviewed soldiers expressed their...
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