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The Media 's Influence On The Public During The Vietnam War

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The Media’s Influence on the Public during the Vietnam War The Vietnam War lasted from 1954 to 1975 and quickly became known as the ‘first televised war’ or the ‘living room war’ because it was the first major conflict to be highly televised. During the Vietnam War the media heavily covered the conflict in a negative portrayal on print and television which in turn persuaded the public against the war, leading to mounting pressure on the government from the anti-war movement and general public disdain and caused them to eventually withdraw. This happened as the media was originally empathetic /sympathetic with the war effort but became overwhelming negative after the events of the Tet Offensive. This massive change in support influenced the public’s opinion to be persuaded against the war in a society that did not often question official policy. Eventually a massive anti-war movement and general public contempt caused overwhelming pressure to withdraw. The media’s portrayal of the war was genuinely positive during the beginning of the war. During the early years news coverage was mainly in 3 minute ‘newsbites’ (Shah, 2003) and focused on military operations and political policy (Hallin, 1986). These short segements would later increase in air time as the war gained more public attention. Journalists quickly flooded to Saigon to report on what would become the most heavily reported event of the time. Reporters had been granted full access to troops and fighting (Kenneth,
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