Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Media Coverage of the Gulf War

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Media Coverage of the Gulf War

“The American mainstream news during combat has been much like the hired bards of medieval monarchs: when war has come, our journalists have become propagandists.” J.MacArthur, "Second Front"

Having access to information during wartime is crucial for the media as this creates the transparency and accountability of both sides during the conflict. Without the presence of a neutral mediator the atrocities which were seen in wars of the past will be repeated, while the presence of a respectable media ensures that information is provided to the rest of the world. In the long run this allows for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions and limit senseless destruction and actions against the civilian population.
However, not all responsibility for incomplete and misleading coverage of the war rests with the military. Journalists themselves failed to cope with their own technology. Instant news puts additional burdens on journalists to introduce their craft into the process. Journalism is the act of choosing from competing information that which most accurately and completely reflects an event. This includes editing for balance and accuracy. It means presenting information in context, relating it to other facts and events.


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