Media Attitudes And Effects Of The Vietnam War

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Typically known for its intensiveness and numerous deaths, the Vietnam War was a time of manic in the 1950s to 1970s in both Vietnam and America. Technological advances were very prevalent in this time period with cameras and film, making reporting a major aspect in the war for the first time. Therefore, journalism, film, and other forms of media played a largely influential role in the attitudes and effects of the Vietnam War. To begin the war, the media’s effect was established. Attitudes generally leaned toward a more positive approach (“Media and the War”). More of a support system for the troops existed, with an encouragement for their return from a quick war. Americans also enjoyed the fact that they were now informed about the events …show more content…
At their maximum, there were around five hundred reporters in Vietnam in 1968, compared to only about 40 in 1964 (”media and the Vietnam War”). Along with the Americans, many other countries sent journalists to Vietnam too; most countries with media services that could withstand the war sent staff to report on the war (”media and the Vietnam War”). These countries were perhaps eager to match the United States’ success with media involvement and to inform their own country on the potential spread of communism in Vietnam. Most of the journalists worked for certain newspaper or film companies to gain stories for them, however some were “stringers,” freelance journalists hired just to do this specific assignment (”media and the Vietnam War”). Additionally, the Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office, or JUSPAO, was the connection between the military and reporters. JUSPAO and other military media outlets had the goal to inform and “present a positive version of events in order to shore up morale among troops and ensure support for the war” (”media and the Vietnam War”). In order to do this, the JUSPAO tended to underestimate battles by making the Americans seem stronger than they actually were and ignored negative aspects of the war such as attack frequency and American death count (”media and the Vietnam War”). Although large amounts of media …show more content…
On the 1968 Vietnamese New Year, North Vietnam initiated the Tet Offensive as a surprise attack of 84,000 troops on South Vietnam in order to topple their government (“Tet Offensive”). Although this failed for North Vietnam, this resulted in an uproar in the United States (“Tet Offensive”). Before the attack, Americans believed that the war was almost won, and there was not much to worry about, while after, a realization came that this war may not be anywhere close to finished, with a possibility that it couldn’t be won (“Tet Offensive”). This initiated extreme doubts in the country and the men fighting the war overseas, creating a resilient lack of trust. Because the Tet Offensive was “yet another example of the gap between U.S. officials ' optimistic public assessments of America 's and South Vietnam 's "progress" in the war,” the public was increasingly frustrated with what information was really being portrayed to them (Levering & Liebovich). During this time, the most amount of reporters were overseas to report, with a total of 648, a number which dropped shortly after tensions reduced (“Media and the War”). Along with a changing number of reporters, the approval rate of the war altered from seventy-four percent to fifty-four percent in the span of one month (“Media and the War”).With a staggering twenty percent decrease in rating of support, it was clear that the

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