The Pros and Cons of Media Influence of Public Opinion during War

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Media Influence of Public Opinion during War: A Good or Bad Capability? Introduction “More people get their news from ABC News than from any other source,” ABC News proudly boasts. But what exactly do they get? As America delves deeper into the 21st century with an array of social and technological advancements, one facet that continues to impress, revolutionize, and greatly impact American society as we know it comes from the evolution of communication, most notably the digital media. The manner and speed in which news reaches its audiences is even more remarkable than the saturation of the media on the American public. War and the Media, authored by Miles Hudson and John Stanier enlighten the reader with an example of the antiquated system of communication during wartime, revealing that often times news would take days if not weeks. They explain, “The news of the victory at Waterloo in 1815 was brought by a young officer, still wearing his battle-stained uniform, who burst into the house in Grosvenor Square where the Prince Regent was being entertained to dinner” (Hudson, xii). In contrast to the battle weary messenger of 1815, the sensational changes over the decades now reveal the war as it unfolds (or perhaps with a minor second or two delay). The most recent example of this immediate on-site reporting is no more evident then America’s war on Iraq. In this 2003 “see it as it happens” experience, buildings are being bombed, innocent civilians are running for their lives, and soldiers are engaged in gun battles. Understandably, Americans tune in to be shocked, entertained, and informed of the on going crisis. But sadly, citizens have increasingly become subjects of the media’s influence resulting in a potential... ... middle of paper ... ...n, Miles and John Stanier. War and the Media: A Random Searchlight. Phoenix Mill: Sutton Publishing Limited, 1997. Minear, Larry, Colin Scott and Thomas Weiss. The News Media, Civil War, and Humanitarian Action. London: Lynne Riener Publishers, 1996. Naureckas, Jim. “ When ‘Doves’ Lie: The New York Times plays down anti-war opinion,” FAIR Extra April 2003. 18 May 2003 <http://www.fair.org/extra/0203/nytimes.html>. Shaw, Marin. Civil Society and Media in Global Crises. New York City: Pinter, 1996. Smith, Dianna. “Conflict with Iraq: Media coverage of war connects with some, turns off others,” Naples Daily News 29 March 2003. 18 May 2003 <http://www.naplesnews.com/03/04/naples/d926571a.htm>. Stoehr, Allan. “Media coverage of war and peace,” Peoples Weekly World 16 March 2002. 18 May 2003 <http://www.pww.org/articleview/773/1/64>.
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