Media Coverage in the Vietnam War and the War on Iraq

2062 WordsNov 15, 20089 Pages
"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.…show more content…
The president said at his news conference last week that the only thing that had been settled when he came to office was the shape of the table. Well, in the five months since then, they have used the table in the shape agreed on, settled nothing, and in Vietnam the war and the killing continues. Today in Saigon they announced the casualty figures for the week. And though they came in the form of numbers, each one of them was a man, most of them quite young, each with hopes he will never realize, each with families and friends who will never see him alive again. Anyway, these are the number (Hammond 1995). Many pictures that ran in the papers and magazines also supported the beliefs that the U.S. was losing the war. In a book written by Oscar Patterson III, he states, "The impact of the media on the public’s opinion about the Vietnam war and the veteran was discussed by Wright (1972) with the conclusion that the media appears to have succeeded in effecting enormous opinion conversions among certain groups. What is most interesting, however, about Wright’s data and his interpretation of them is that he suggests that the media had a greater impact on the middle, upper-middle, and upper classes in regards to change in attitude toward the Vietnam War than it did on the lower classes." Patterson went on to write, "However, though there was a definite shift in

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