The role of media in Vietnam.

Essay by pfeiffernatorHigh School, 11th grade November 2005

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During the Vietnam War, the media's role was very misconstrued by the American public. Some saw it as simple marketing; find the most compelling stories to gain more viewers. Others saw it as propaganda, using video feed to sway the public opinion, while others saw it as the raw truth, whether it was good or bad. But it is still to this day questionable as to what the media's intensions were. I believe that the media overstepped its boundaries, and their intensions were not always what was best for the U.S. In a way I feel that they were promoting propaganda, and were trying to get more viewers from the enticing video streaming across television to television in the U.S., even if it was not always true.

I do not believe it is the media's role to depict what it is they want to show in serious events such as the Vietnam War to draw in viewers.

Instead, I think they should show important stories in their entirety. What most people remember from the war was graphic content being displayed on all news networks throughout the United States. It was the first war where televisions illustrated the conflicts before the publics' eye. To an extent I believe this is fine, but during this crisis I believe the media over stepped its role and displayed senseless violence over and over. Events such as the Viet Cong member being executed by U.S. Marines should not be shown, what is the relevance? This completely destroys moral back home just so the viewers stay hooked. I do feel stories such as the "Gulf of Tonkin" and the "Kent State" event should be published. Although these stories may lower moral back home, they are actual significant events occurring, as opposed to the brutality of...