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Media in Vietnam

Emma St. John

emma st. john

on 9 October 2012

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Transcript of Media in Vietnam

Emma St. John Media Coverage of Vietnam Popularity of TV Impact of Media in Vietnam Mid 1960s television most important source of news and public opinion During Korean War only 9% of people owned/watched TV By 1966 93% of Americans owned/watched TV Credibility of TV TV overtakes newspaper as most reliable source of news Walter Cronkite "most trusted
man in America" When watching TV people fell
like they are in Vietnam and understand war TV segments were edited 30 minute segments of a very complex war Early TV War Coverage TV is a business wanted to show human interest stories Helicopter surveillance
and combat interviews
produced required drama Positive Pro-American
tone to TV, soldiers were
heroes "Good guys shooting at
Reds" Anti-communism frame created positive coverage that vilified the war, not the soldier Turning Point By 1967 90% of nightly news dedicated to covering the war No military censorship, reporters could follow troops into battle More grisly combat and graphic images portrayed In interviews soldiers began to express frustration Turning Point: Tet Offensive 1967 war support begins to fall Although it was a US
victory media portrayed
it as a massive defeat After Tet, people believe US unable to win war Loss of Support After Tet Offensive news became more negative

Before Tet 62 percent of stories, 28 percent as
defeats, two percent inconclusive

After Tet, 44 percent of the battles victories,
32 percent defeats, and 24 percent inconclusive

Combat scenes were more graphic

Films of civilian casualties increased from a pre-
Tet average of 0.85 times per week to 3.9 times
per week

Films of military casualties jumped from 2.4 to 6.8 times per week Media Damages Soldier's Image Media shows all activities soldiers partake in, good and bad Worst event for soldier's image was My Lai massacre, US killed
350 civilians Lt. Calley's trial brought war crimes to the front of the remaining war TV coverage Further Loss of Support American's depend on TV to understand war, all they see is 'senseless killing' War coverage declined from
90 percent of all newscasts
to 61 percent After 1968 anti-war movement coverage overshadowed actual
war Media focused on anti-war and political processes 13% of newscasts showed combat EVERY part of war was sent to
millions of living rooms around
the nation Largest Impact: Image of
Vietnam War soldier was very
negative, not seen as 'heros' Led to poor treatment and reception in US War had always been 'censored',
people exposed to everything
they created their own, generally
negative opinion Walter Cronkite Major turning point in the war was Tet Offensive My Lai civilian victims Draft card burning
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