Vetnam War Essay

953 words - 4 pages

The role of the media in the Vietnam War

Media brought the horrors of the Vietnam War into everyone’s house. It showed people the sensational news that were going on in Vietnam during the war. This caused people to have a wrong opinion about the war, soldiers, and what their country was fighting for. For example, Richard M. Nixon said “No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now”. Even though, the media was broadcasting some parts of the war instead of the whole picture, it was better than it used to be. During fifties, people were able to get visual information about the war only in ...view middle of the document...

Different times during the war media led the public opinion, reflect it, and follow it. In the beginning of the war the media led the public opinion by telling American society what was happening in North and South Vietnam. When the war developed, the media started to tell us that our men are in Vietnam and that followed the public opinion. The war ended when media started to reflect the public opinion and caused protest throughout the United States.

Media reported the war during the fifties and early sixties differently. During fifties many people did not have TV at home and the only source of visual information about the war was in theaters. Theaters were based on propaganda; therefore, people did not know the truth about the war. However, this has changed since people had the opportunity to follow the news at home. In early 60’s the majority of American citizens were able to see the truth about the war through pictures, news, and videos about Vietnam War at home. People’s opinion about the war during fifties and early sixties was different because, they were able to watch the news every single day sitting in their own houses. Reports about the Vietnam War during sixties and images from the front line on television were crucial factors in turning public opinion against the war. Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State, once said, "This was the first struggle fought on television in everybody's living room every day... whether ordinary people can sustain a war effort under that kind of daily hammering is a very large question."

The media helped bring the war to an end. It demonstrated to almost every single person in the Unites States how horrible the war was. People saw their men and other innocent people from Vietnam struggling and dying in this cruel war. These pictures from Vietnam affected...

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