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Media Coverage of War - Research Paper Example

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Introduction For truth to be known in the society there must be someone to tell it to others without biasness (Rid 76). In the contemporary society, people rely heavily on the media and major policy makers to obtain information about important events happening around the world…
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Media Coverage of War
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Download file to see previous pages The build up to Iraq war and the war itself received wide media attention across the world. The normal television broadcasting schedules of major broadcasters were often disrupted to bring the 24-hour coverage of the war and related analysis. The war coverage was not restricted to the electronic media. The daily newspapers displayed numerous pages with detailed images from the war frontlines. Viewers around the world were able to enjoy quality coverage of the action in the comfort of their homes. It is with no doubt that, the media coverage of the war on Iraq was one of the highest visual qualities, exceeding the coverage of previous wars in the world (Allan and Zelizer 53-60) However, the media coverage of the war on Iraq in 2003 continues eliciting ethical issues, particularly on the role that the journalists played in ensuring that all parties involved in the conflict received fair media attention. In addition, the effects that the coverage had on different groups of people across the world are another major issue of concern. Impartial and objective media coverage is the epitome of professional journalism but during war on Iraq, objectivity was one of the most controversial issues. The issues of impartiality and objectivity were particularly more questionable because most of the journalists came from United States and other western countries that supported the war. The interests in the Iraq conflict particularly in the United States were intense because of the high stakes involved, causing biasness in the reporting (Steven et al, 570-572). In the course of the war coverage, major media houses especially from United States and United Kingdom are renowned for biasness while covering conflicts (Juliane 46). According to Juliane the media companies in these countries seldom question the morality of their countries’ engagement in the conflicts (52). For instance during the Falkland’s war involving United Kingdom and Argentina, Juliane noted that the media in the country failed to challenge the rationale of war. The situation was similar during the first gulf war in 1991 when the American and British press remained largely biased in favor of the allied forces (63-65). Rid attributes the apparent lack of professionalism in the media to vested interests, where the media owners fear reporting actual facts in order to maintain cordial economic relations with the government of the day(82). The media coverage of war in Iraq elicited different criticism from the society. Lewis argued that the coverage from the frontline presented the war as a form of entertainment, involving a superior forces led by the United States displaying their military might against an inferior opposition (55-68). Similarly, the graphic broadcasts elicited concerns about their psychological effects on the audience, especially the young children. In Britain and United States, there were concerns that media would broadcast graphic images of wounded and killed soldiers to the public. This would create psychological suffering to the relatives and trigger public outrage against the war (Rid 77) There was a pronounced contrast between the broadcasts by pro western media and Arab media during the Iraq war. Al jazeera television network, a pro Arabic media house demonstrated a remarkable journalistic coverage by showing the untold suffering of the Iraqi people meted by the occupying forces. The station showed images of Iraqi civilian victims and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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