Media Coverage: A War within a War

The debate over the extent to which mass media serves a powerful role in the shaping of political outcomes and war is a dodgy subject. Recently the need to understand the relationship between the media and politics has become an increasingly pressing issue. This idea attributed to the fact that the media may actually have the power to shake governments and the people. The difference is that in todays world, new technologies, hundreds of new channels, and the diverse views available through the internet-the situation is even worse.

The more media coverage a neighboring nation receives, the more likely we are to think that nation is vitally important to the U.S. However, the more negative coverage that a nation receives, the more likely we are to think negatively about the nation. The idea that the media has to the power to manipulate a story in such a way, that it can create either a positive or negative message in the consumers mind is disconcerting. One of the ways the media accomplishes this is through elements of propaganda. The media will use selective stories, partial facts, and demonizing the “enemy,” to fit the picture they want to portray.

One of the best examples of the media turning a relatively small situation into a bigger one was the Iranian revolution. If you haven’t already seen the movie Argo, I would suggest picking it up, as it beautiful describes how the medias coverage of this event lead to various hate crimes, flag burnings, and death in both opposing countries at the time.

Love the media or hate it, we all have a responsibility for our own media choices.

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