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The role of the media in Vietnam: the television and the war news - Research Paper Example

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Growing up in the 20th century was not without the eventual realities emanating from stories of war and the eventual fatalities. As a young child, my greatest mystery was how all this information could reach our home area and my folks discussed the details as if they had been to the war torn areas…
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The role of the media in Vietnam: the television and the war news
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Download file to see previous pages Growing up in the 20th century was not without the eventual realities emanating from stories of war and the eventual fatalities. As a young child, my greatest mystery was how all this information could reach our home area and my folks discussed the details as if they had been to the war torn areas The most notable experience was the stories about the Fall of Saigon and the unification of the Vietnam country. Prior to all these, there was a lot of war stories of what happened in Vietnam. The Americans got the happenings of the war in Vietnam from the television in the comfort of their living rooms. This was made a reality by the noble exercise conducted by the media. But the main critical aspect that hovered in my minds was; how accurate were the happenings miles away being reported on televisions. How best can we get the real events and the intensity of the war in Vietnam? Talk of the victims of war, the veteran soldiers or even the guerrilla soldiers. These are individuals who were at the core of the happenings during the fighting. Soldiers of war are regarded and respected highly back home with regard to the harsh conditions encountered in war, and the veterans are viewed as winners but many fail to understand the real situation they have gone through or what they fathom. This essay seeks to comprehend the role played by the media in outlining the Second Indochina War, how critical the news that the televisions brought to the Americans was and its impact to them. The media and the Vietnam War Media per se has a role to play in relaying the exact happenings in times of war. The Americans could view the atrocities in Vietnam and get the picture of war. Movies relayed the war scenes, but the biggest question remains, did the media bring the real picture of the war in Vietnam at the time of war? How best did they cover the war, and did it affect the American’s view towards the war? Many are the questions that linger in the minds of scholars and the role played by media during the Vietnam War. Michael Arlen (cited in Halin 103) disagrees with the notion that the battle scenes brought in the living rooms make the hazards of war “real” to the civilian audience. He argues that they are diminished partially by the showcasing from the TV. In America, the horrors of war entered the living rooms for the first time during the Vietnam War. For two decades, the American public watched the destruction of villages, burning to death of Vietnamese children and bodies of dead soldiers being brought back home. Women and children suffered a great deal in the hands of the Northern forces but the media only portrayed the fighting made by the American soldiers. Women hid in ditches full of dirty water to safeguard themselves and their children from the intense bombardment arrayed by the Viet Cong specifically at Bao Trai 20 miles west of Saigon as evidenced by the second photograph above. Laurence (2002, p.6) describes the sufferings of the Vietnamese families in the atrocities experienced. But how did the American television air the news? It was an American war fighting against communism and save the Southerners from the “harsh” Northerners. Terrified burnt children run away from the war scene Women and children hiding in a ditch (Accessed from http://pictureshistory.blogspot.com/2010/07/stunning-pictures-from-vietnam-war.html) The positivity and negativity of the media coverage in Vietnam The coverage of the war and the resultant impact on public opinion has been a topic of discussion for the past decades by scholars and journalists, yet they do not have the first hand information on the war. The conflict was relayed as a mission for the Americas out for the best. Wyatt (81) describes the media to have labeled the early conflict as “good guys shooting Reds” account so as to fit the cold war tales that were in progress. This outlines the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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