The Failure of Journalism during the Civil War in El Salvador Essay

The Failure of Journalism during the Civil War in El Salvador Essay

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The Failure of Journalism during the Civil War in El Salvador


The Civil War in El Salvador was an event that most individuals misunderstood. A twelve year conflict and a power struggle that claimed to keep communism out of El Salvador killed 75,000 people and the whole story still remains untold. The Civil War in El Salvador was a conflict that roughly started in 1980 and ended with the peace accords in 1992. These dates are rough because there were many conflicts before 1980 and even after the peace accords were signed in 1992 the “death squads [1] ” were still active every now and again. With respect to United States involvement, the reason the United States was initially involved was to block communist rule from spreading to another country. In hope of preventing this “communist spread”, the U.S. trained and equipped the Salvadoran military to be very powerful and very dangerous. The reason the U.S. felt the military would stop communism is because leftist groups had begun to organize themselves around the guerillas. Due to this separation of power in the war torn country, anyone who supported or even acknowledged the guerillas and the leftist side was given the harshest and most severe punishment, often death. Because of these harsh and hostile conditions the real story of the leftist side was often skewed. As the government in power began to oppress the people, leftist groups formed in opposition to the militant government oppression. When enough leftists had come together they formed what was known as the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (F.M.L.N.), which got a bad reputation from the beginning for having Marxist ideals (Stanley 2), hence the United States involvement to keep communism out of Central ...


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... truth.

[1] The term “death squad” is a term used for effect. The word itself leads to biases because of the very nature that the term implies. Terminology like this was just one instance that made reports biased.

[2] This ignorance was an ignorance of the culture as well as the specific details of the war. It is not a requirement that reporters be proficient in the language of the country they are reporting in and so the vagueness of many reports can be somewhat attributed to this scenario.

[3] Its seem interesting to note that the U.N. truth commission itself seemed to distinguish murders committed by the army and murders committed by the death squads when it is quite clear that the death squads were operating under close control of the army.

[4] Ethnocentricity defined by dictionary.com is the “belief in the superiority of one's own ethnic group.”

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