Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Newspaper's say: "NOW THIS MEANS WAR!"

Friday, February 15, 2008

Newspaper's say: "NOW THIS MEANS WAR!"


“…it is only human for a newspaper proprietor to desire war…It would not stir up a war with any country, but if it see’s preparations made to fight, it does not fail to encourage the combatants. This is particularly true of a naval war, which is much more striking as a spectacle than a land war, while it does not disturb industry or distribute personal risk to nearly the same extent.” (E.L. Godkin- The Growth and Expansion of Public Opinion)

It is fascinating to learn that the media uses tools like Yellow Journalism and Sensationalism to actually promote a war. While one might define these techniques as literature that exploits, distorts and exaggerates news to attract readers, I would like to take it a step further and say that the media will sometimes altogether have an ulterior agenda. We have come to realize that more often than not there are deeper, economic reasons for war motives that almost always exist. While this excerpt may be trying to highlight how the media can force a public to believe a war has actually begun, it is outrageous for anyone in any form to portray war as some sort of an exciting ‘spectacle.’

1 Comments:

Blogger A. Mattson said...

You are right to be disturbed, but today is not 1898 and the modern media are not the yellow press of Hearst and Pulitizer.

The economic interests of the media play a role in how news is covered. That is not an usually an agenda for war-mongering. Sometimes the business practices of the press are used to promote war but it would be an overstatement to go farther than Godkin does in your quotation: "It would not stir up a war with any country, but if it see’s preparations made to fight, it does not fail to encourage the combatants."

2/18/2008 11:01 PM  

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