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A Critical Comparison Of The Role Of The Media During The War In Vietnam And World War 2.

2666 words - 11 pages

Critically compare the media coverage of any two conflicts studied in the module.The purpose of this essay is to critically compare the media coverage of two of the conflicts covered in the module. This will be done by using knowledge obtained from lectures, external journals, books and internet sources. I am also going to outline the changing face of the war correspondent to show how media coverage of conflict has changed over time.The conflicts that I am going to compare will be the war in Vietnam, which has long been argued, was lost by the American media, and also the Second World War.Firstly I am going to discuss the origins of the war reporter, and how this has evolved and changed over time and how this may be relevant to differences in the reporting of the two conflicts.The role of a war correspondent was first coined during the Crimean war in the mid nineteenth century. (Russell 2011). William Howard Russell was deployed by The Times Newspaper to cover the conflict, which marked the first time a Newspaper had sent a reporter directly to the front line of a war, as whilst Newspapers had previously attempted to cover conflict they had done so from afar. This was to involve the reporter getting as close to the military as they could.Early war reporting was markedly different to how it is today; this is exemplified in the following passage from Russell which is from his coverage of the charge of the light brigade 'At ten minutes past eleven our Light Cavalry Brigade advanced … They swept proudly past, glittering in the morning sun in all the pride and splendour of war … At the distance of 1,200 yards the whole line of the enemy belched forth, from thirty iron mouths, a flood of smoke and flame. The flight was marked by instant gaps in our ranks, by dead men and horses, by steeds flying wounded or riderless across the plain.' (Knightly 2002)This style of writing is distinctly different to that seen today, in that it is far more descriptive and goes in further detail about the conflict in order to paint a picture in the readers minds, in the days before images were readily available, because of this the passage almost reads like a novel.Technological advances have seen vast changes in the way conflicts have and are being covered. An early technological advance was seen during the American civil war, where journalists would often be selected to report based on their ability to use the 'telegraph' which often led to poor and inaccurate reporting. (Russell 2011).Arguably the biggest change in the way war has been reported was the advent of television, of which the Vietnamese war had subsequent coverage, which lead to it being known as 'The television war' (Mandelbaum 1982)The Vietnam War was a largely limited war; this means that the war was limited in both its aims and capabilities. The U.S became involved in the war during 1965, although the war had been ongoing since 1959. The Vietnam War was between Nationalist forces attempting...

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