Vietnam War and Media
Can media help win – or lose – a war? Answer through detailed discussion of coverage in one war since 1945.
The Vietnam War could be characterized as one of the most controversial incident in America’s history. United States acted paradoxically; they claimed that they protected democracy, they raised an oppressive dictatorial regime in the area of South Vietnam and later the US army was destroying villages in order to protect them (Wiest, 2002). In terms of media, the Vietnam War was the first war, which was extensively televised. Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian communication theorist said: “Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living …show more content…
2969895103505 The public dissatisfaction with regard to the USA involvement to the war grew significantly. That dissatisfaction was provoked on the main by the media. Richard Nixon the American President who succeeded President Johnson promised to gradually withdraw the American troops from Vietnam. Subsequently and contrary to his promises President Nixon ordered the attack against Cambodia and Laos, two countries which were neutral to that moment. The attack in the form of air bombardment took place without the consent of the Congress. Later and after the disclosure of the Pentagon Papers by the newspapers forced Nixon to settle peace and finally signed the cease fire in 1973 (SparkeNotes Editors, 2005). After the resignation of President Nixon, due his involvement in the Watergate Scandal, the USA troops were withdrawn from Vietnam.
On the 30th of April 1975 the Vietnam War ended and the country was reunified, under however the communist rule. The name of the new country has been since, Social Republic of Vietnam (Hall, 2008).
Media in Vietnam War era: In the times of the Vietnam War there was no censorship. Journalists enjoyed complete freedom to report on the Indochina War without government’s intervention. As a matter of fact, during the War, there was a conflict relation between media and government. The media were challenging the positive view created by the government with regard to