Use Of Broadcast Journalism During The Vietnam War Essay

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The use of broadcast journalism during the Vietnam War permanently altered the way Americans perceive war. The 1960’s were a big year for television news. It was the decade when famous broadcasts like the Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and the first televised presidential debate aired. According to PBS article called “TV Milestones”, in 1960 90% of American households owned a television and by 1963 the majority of Americans said they got most of their news from TV. Since there were very few channels, most families gathered around at night to watch the evening news. It was through these daily viewings that the Vietnam War became the first televised war. Although televisions did exist before the Vietnam War, they weren’t as common. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor there were only about ten thousand televisions in the US and during the Korean War there were about ten million. By the time the Tet Offensive broke out in January 1968, there were nearly a hundred million televisions in the U.S. The CBS Evening News and the NBC Huntley-Brinkley Report coverage of the first week of the Tet Offensive were each seen in more then ten million homes across the country. In the book Tet! Don Oberdorfer states “Vietnam was the first television war and the Tet Offensive was America’s first television superbattle.” Since televisions were somewhat of a rarity before the Vietnam War, most people saw news footage as newsreels in movie theatres. This…

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