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Independent Reading Essay

1760 words - 7 pages

The year is 2006,watching TV, you flip through the various news stations to learn about the recent news in Iraq, the majority of the news simply says that ‘x’ amount of soldiers or marines were killed in such and such attack. You don’t like what you are hearing so you go online to read an independent embedded (embedded refers to news reporters who are attached to military units) reporters story. Online you read that two new schools were built, and the Iraqis, supported by US forces, led an attack to capture an insurgent leader. The big media corporations such as FOX, NBC, CNN, and many others distort the facts that are on the ground. The small, mostly independent, reporters generally try to get a first-hand account of the situation on the ground. They are their alongside the soldiers, sailors, and marines. In some cases these reporters may need to drop their camera or pen and defend themselves. These examples bring many questions that I want to know. The biggest of these questions is how do these different types of reporting, the “main stream media”, and the small independent embedded reporters affect the views that the American people have back home? The reason I chose this topic is that after reading The Good Soldiers and Moment of Truth in Iraq, I was intrigued in the considerable difference between what was wrote in books and what CNN reported on the nightly news. I did not find a ‘good’ answer I could find to answer my question, however I did draw three conclusions. The conclusions are as follows: the ‘big media’ misconstrues the information from the battlefield to fit their own agendas; the media fails to obtain a personal more in depth view and instead report after the smoke has cleared instead of what happened during the battle; what happens to the soldiers after they leave the battlefield that are wounded, both mentally and physically, does not appear to be well reported by the big media compared to something, such as a book, that gets in on a more personal point of view.
The first conclusion that I drew is that the big media will adjust the ‘facts’ and pick and choose information to fit their own agendas. Lt. Colonel Tim Ryan, Commander, Task Force 2-12, says it best in his article, “I am tired of reading distorted and grossly exaggerated stories from major news organizations about the "failures" in the war in Iraq.” and he goes onto say, “the media highlights mostly the negative aspects of the event?” I wholeheartedly agree that the media portrays only the negative the majority of the time. This is farther evidenced in both books that I read that portrayed the positive things our troops were doing. Such as one example where a Iraqi translator’s little girl is wounded in an insurgent attack and against regulations the soldiers featured in the book, who were unable though willing to go out and get the girl, brought the girl to the US Army Hospital upon her arrival to the FOB (Forward Operating Base). Instead of the media reporting...

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