Media Coverage Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War opened many eyes to the true horrors of war thanks to the media coverage. The media made a significant impact on public opinions during the war. News outlets did not glorify war such as propaganda in WWII. As a way to sell more papers, acquire higher ratings, or just tell the truth to the public, the media outlets started to publish horrific yet realistic images and videos of Vietnam to present what really happens when at war. The real question is in what ways and how did media affect the general public’s outlook and opinion on the war? The media portrayed Vietnam in different forms such as T.V., newspapers, and magazines. Through these sources, media negatively affected the public eye on the subject of Vietnam. This is presented …show more content…
Media coverage truly showed how the public went from fully supporting the effort to a lot of opposition to the effort. This is shown through the numerous protests and riots. Images from official media sources, such as newspapers, began to not be trusted as a liable source. Many photos consisted of images that were not so family friendly or “PC.” Censorship was an issue. Media had specific guidelines from the government on what to present in wars such as World War I and World War II. The government had news outlets to censor these photos or videos, but after a while, too many of the leaked pictures or information were presented in many other types of media and it got out of control and in time newspapers started to publish these images . In Vietnam, reporters and photographers were allowed to roam freely. Even with increased control from the government to push for censorship, this proved not to be enough to stop reporters from recording and video-taping the effects of the war on the Vietnamese population. The more copies sold, the more the outlets produced of these controversial photos and videos2. In this era, people really began to read between the lines and use their brains to not believe in propaganda found in other past wars. No other war has the U.S. government permitted reporters and media outlets to go on personal escapades without filtering what could be …show more content…
These photos are known among the population to be the most popular images from the war. These three images are the “Self-Immolated Monk,” “The Saigon Execution,” and “The Napalm Girl.” All three of these Pulitzer-Prize winning photos rocked and shook the public. The “Self-Immolated Monk” was part of a protest where a monk burned himself alive because of the persecution of Buddhists. “The Saigon Execution” was a photo where a Southern Vietnam General executed a Vietcong officer with no remorse. The last example of “The Napalm Girl” shows an innocent Vietnamese girl with her clothes burnt off from a bombing raid by the Southern Vietnamese, a U.S. ally. With each of these photos the public witnessed, the people of the U.S. would start to change how they felt about the war. Nobody has ever seen images like this before! The public thought that war was just like movies where the allied forces would always win or be triumphant against the enemy. As media projections got too “authentic,” “ugly,” and “real,” the support for the war was decreased at an alarming

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