The role of the media in war

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The role of the media in war

Learn more about the history of the media and war.

Media In Wartime | History Detectives | PBS

Media In Wartime More from Wes about media in times of war. How free is the press to cover the military during a war? Historically, the answer is, it depends. Despite the first amendment, during the Civil War, the military often kept reporters off the battlefields.

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Fifty years later, when the U. Then Congress passed the Espionage and Sedition Acts, making it illegal to publish anything disrespectful to the government, the flag or the uniforms of American troops. World War II brought the creation of a military office of censorship.

If the press wanted access, they had to apply for credentials from the office, which meant they had to play ball with the military.

This deal kept stories like the creation of the a-bomb out of the press until after the war. But things were different in Vietnam. As the war itself spiraled out of control, restrictions on the press became increasingly lax.

The role of the media in war

As the anti-war movement grew at home, the American press began to question the war and air their concerns on the nightly news. From a PR standpoint, Vietnam was a fiasco. In the wars that followed, the government put a much tighter rein on the press.

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For example, both gulf wars have had a tremendous amount of press coverage, but critics fault the media for being more managed by the military than ever before.Media is an important form of communication in supplying information to a mass group of people and has always played an important role in American wars throughout history.

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Get the latest international news and world events from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and more. See world news photos and videos at This can be done by providing too much information! Schechter gives an example of the Kosovo War, where briefers at NATO’s headquarters in Belgium boasted that this was the key to information would gorge the media with information, Beelman writes, quoting one as saying, When you make the media happy, the media will not look for the rest of the story.