United States news media and the Vietnam War

Vietnam War reporters – Martin Stuart-Fox and photographer Tim Page in Vietnam.
The role of media in outbreaks of news played a vital role in dramatic shifts of opinion during the Vietnam War. In the beginning of the war, the U.S. media was not interested in covering stories out of Vietnam with only the most breaking news covered. After the death of civilians against President Ngo Dinh Diem of Vietnam, the U.S. media began to take more interest in the war. Journalists began arriving in Vietnam to be the first to cover any stories that emerged. As the war went on, the U.S. media began to change its main source of information. Journalists began to focus more on research, interviews and analytical essays to obtain information instead of press conferences, official news releases and reports of official proceedings. With an increase in American households that obtained a television set, more and more citizens were able to keep up with the war. Although it was useful to have all information acquired during the war, the media played a huge role in what the American people saw and believed. Journalists that visited Vietnam during the war were not interested in the culture of Vietnam or any aspect of the way of life practiced in that area. Instead, they only focused on the negative and reinforced the American people with the worst of Vietnam. The media played the information to look like Vietnam was in the wrong and the only one at fault. The Federal government of the United States was painting one picture of the war, while the media was painting another. The government made the war to look more glorious and optimistic than reality. Once media’s view on the war was accessible to citizens, they began to see a difference in the way the war was being portrayed. …”
Media Role in The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War and the media
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