This essay studies the role of media in the Vietnam war. As it is stated in the text, many scholars have blamed the defeat of the war on the media. The media or the fourth estate as is mostly named, played a crucial role in shaping the perceptions of the American population…
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Television (TV) in the mid-1960 was considered to be one of the main sources of news to the Americans. Thus as the Vietnam war was proceeding most Americans turned to the TV as their primary source of news. Intense visuals of the war helped explain the complex nature of the Vietnam war to the Americans who could not understand the military's technical language. The Vietnam war took place between 1957 to 1975. It's the most unpopular war of the 20th century. It resulted in more than 60,000 deaths of American soldiers and between 2 to 4 million Vietnamese deaths. The various TV networks set permanent bureaus in Saigon. By 1968 during the Tet Offensive, 86% of NBC and CBS nightly news programs covered the war. The media were generally supportive of Americans in the war. By 1967, 90% of the nightly news was devoted to the news. Gradually support for the war began to reduce. The military didn’t establish media censorship, thus the journalists could follow the military to the battlefields and reported what they saw. They presented the public with graphic images of what they saw. The turning point of the media support occurred in the late of January 1968 during the Tet Offensive. The public got information first hand from the journalist rather than the military personnel. Thus the media were not biased in showing the American forces deaths and the wounded soldiers. The most damaging the massacre that occurred at My Lai. American forces killed more than 350 civilians, thus introducing the subject of war crimes to the population.
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Hallin has broken the
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