Media Coverage in the Vietnam War and the War on Iraq

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"In wartime, truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies" –
Winston Churchill. Ideally, the media has a responsibility of making sure that it does not happen.
The media plays a crucial role in covering the war in the most objective, bias-free and truthful manner, even if negative stories have to be reported. In this essay, the comparison of media coverage between the Vietnam War and Gulf War II has four areas to cover, which are the freedom of correspondents, embedding, the reliability and quality of the coverage.
The media also plays the role of a "watchdog" in observing the government closely and reporting their actions. With the U.S. in Vietnam, the American people wanted to be kept up-to- date. They now had the opportunity to follow the war via newspaper, radio, magazine, and television. While many families heavily relied on the coverage to keep them informed, voters relied on this coverage to keep them posted on the progress of the war. However, this coverage was often very "deathly."On television, the press exercised their freedom by displaying photographs or film footage of dead and/or wounded soldiers and civilians on a regular basis, during their evening news. This scenario was commonly known as, "Steak and potatoes with body counts," (Patterson, 1995). Photos shocked the nation, but became a common sight for the evening network news. Steven King summed up his description of Vietnam’s television coverage as, "Our daily dose of blood and gore." (Patterson, 1995).
The Vietnam War was a two-part war, the one the U.S was fighting in the fields and the war the media was fighting as well. But, what could have happened if the Vietnam War was fought under the same censorship and stipulation that the Gulf War was? "What if?" This is a question that many ask when it comes to the media’s coverage during the Vietnam War. What if the media were NOT granted absolute freedom? What if there was some means

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