The Press And Vietnam War

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The Press and Vietnam When analyzing the Vietnam war it is clear that the press had a significant role in helping bring the conflict to an end. Largely, this was the result of the gruesome reports and images that the networks chose to air and the public’s corresponding opposition to the war. To understand this relationship, and hence helping to end the war, it is necessary to look at three distinct areas. These include the reason that the press chose to air gruesome reports, specific reports that outraged the public, and examples of the corresponding changes in public opinion. The gruesome reports that the networks chose to air to the American public appear to be the result of a competitive culture within journalism at the time. Specifically, a culture of competition amongst correspondents to obtain violent and gory reports. This is evident in the article, “Vietnam War: Bringing the Battlefield into the American Living Room.” It first shows this when speaking of a specific war correspondent. It states that, “Mike Wallace of CBS recalled that he and other correspondents, eager to get their stories on the air, did their best to find the gory combat footage their bosses in New York wanted” (191). This statement shows that due to the press executives’ desire for violent images, the journalists actively competed to get them. Therefore, there was likely a lack of other reports related to the war as these reports were not in demand and would likely not be released by the editors.
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