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Media in the Providing Wartime Coverage - Essay Example

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The media is very crucial both in periods of war and those of peace because it can positively contribute in providing accurate and relevant information which is vital for people to make well-informed choices. During times of war the risks facing the media become greater than usual and are therefore the time when accurate and professional reporting becomes most paramount…
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Media in the Providing Wartime Coverage
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Download file to see previous pages For peace to exist among all nations, ideas and information should be freely disseminated both within frontiers and across them. This is because a free and independent media is essentially the lifeblood of well-founded, working societies, and a lifeline to progress itself (Shaw, 1996). In nations where censorship has been found to be imposed, both democracy and development have been big losers. It is also a known fact that most of the reporters who have died in the line of duty around the world have been mostly murdered for reasons such as revealing corruption or abuses of power, opposing entrenched interests, legal or illegal or simply for doing their jobs. Many hundreds more have faced harassment, intimidation and physical assault, with such acts resulting in chilling effects on society at large thereby stifling dissent and debate (Shaw, 1996). Such attacks must not be tolerated at all cost and as such legal mechanisms should be put in place to protect reporters.
Journalistic work constantly involves difficult options, but wartime reporting raises the level of intensity, consequently forcing reporters to face myriad issues including separating objectivity from propaganda; uncertainty from prejudice and the need to convey the impact of conflict, particularly on civilians, without displaying images of death and suffering, which are insults to human dignity (Shaw, 1996). The issue of selectivity usually poses the biggest challenge in that some issues and situations attract undivided coverage, while others of seemingly equal importance fail to achieve matched attention.
The problem of hate media is another outstanding outcome of reporting during wartime. A good example in real time is found in Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the world witnessed genocide and crimes against humanity, triggered, in part, by nationalistic and ethnocentric hate campaign, propagated through the mass media. In the same vein, many media outlets in Cte d'Ivoire and South Africa have in recent times used xenophobic messages through political manipulation, unsubstantiated claims, and incitement to violence against individuals and groups, especially of specific foreign origin, all emphasizing how misuse of information can have deadly consequences (Shaw, 1996).
Finally, the media can do more than anything in wartime to help the world learn not only how a war is conducted, but also how it is affecting people. During this period, reporters can give voice to those who would otherwise remain unheard and also tell stories that otherwise would remain untold. Through this way therefore, reporters can create conduits between those trapped in a conflict zone and those outside it. Moreover, in times of conflicts and war, the presence of reporters can help prevent atrocities. This is simply because the reporters can effectively sense a conflict ahead and alert the world to the need for preventive measures to avoid tragedy (Shaw, 1996).
The Supreme Court is crucial in deciding what issues are discussed and those that are classified. Foremost is any issue relating to the needless invasion of personal privacy. If a privacy interest exists, for instance, it should be weighed against the public ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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