Friday, 25 September 2009

Vietnam War – The Impact of Media

I'm reading The Girl in the Picture at the moment which is the story of one of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam War:

I’m only right at the beginning but this is the first time I’ve read about events such as the Tet Offensive and the Hui Massacre.  I’ve become really interested in the role of the media during the Vietnam War and the ways in which the American public were manipulated and played by the media.  It makes me very aware of the current media coverage of Iraq and Afghanistan and the massive difference in the news as represented by the different news agencies. 
“To see is to believe but in whose context?” – Charlton Heston, Vietnam War: The Impact of Media
The following video narrated by Charlton Heston does have a strong anti-communist bias but I found it quite interesting in that it shows us one thing: we as the public can never know the truth because the media will take images and video footage and make it represent whatever it is they want us to believe.  Were the Americans wrong to go into Vietnam?  Were they guilty of war crimes, massacres and atrocities?  Or did the media completely forsake the American troops, condemning them when the troops and the South Vietnamese needed them most?  Well, I guess it depends which news channel you are watching.
Vietnam War - The Impact of Media
Narrated by Charlton Heston (56 mins)

For the record, my own view on the current war against terrorism is that American and British troops are being led like lambs to the slaughter in a war where there are no clearly identified targets or goals and therefore, no chance of ever succeeding.  Politicians should stop using young men ad women as their personal pawns and toy soldiers.


  1. Wars!! I always hate them.It is because innocent people has to pay for that..I can see in the photo !!Unseen Rajasthan

  2. In Hungary I met a handful of people, who, at the time being conscription age, volunteered to serve in Viet Nam on the North side. Most of them were never taken overseas, because... erm, so yeah, Hungarians have never won a war since they failed to the Turks in 1526, but some special forces and scientists did participate. There was media/propaganda generated dilusion on both sides, much like the current conflicts.

  3. @ Unseen Rajasthan: I agree with you.

    @ Hevel: That is so interesting. I never knew Hungarian soldiers were involved in Vietnam (even f it was more just an alignment). I think the fact that the communists were fighting for a cause they believed in as well is a fact that is often overlooked. If you take the story of Che Guevara fr example, he absolutely believed in what he was fighting for.

  4. Hi

    Dropping by to ask for your prayers and support for the Flood Victims of Typhoon Ondoy that just hit the Philippines, Metro Manila. I was very fortunate that my apartment has been spared from the major flooding but many have died and many more need to be rescued. Drop by over at empty streets to find out how you can also support those that have been hit by this tragedy.


    Empty Streets 1027


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