Early Stages of The War
In the early stages of the war the media coverage generally followed the official line of policy. Even when the situation escalted and UD forces became directly involved in the war the relationship between the army , government and the media remained relativly good. The US army created MACV (military Assisstance Command, Vietnam) so that journalists would have a chance to discuss with the army. Journalist would get transport to war areas, interrveiws and breifings with commande and regular reports. In return they were expected not to publish any information that may help the enemy.
In the USA editors rarely wanted to publuhs soties about bad things in Vietnamand they didn't want to be seen as underminng the war effort
TV channels were concerned about broadcasting offputting and violent scenes because they thought viewers would change channel.
Later Stages Of The War (1967-8)
By 1967-68 the tone and content was beginingt tochange because:
- TV was taking over from newpapers and was now the most important source of news for most Americans. TV could be editedbut it presents a more raw account of war. Technology was advancing meaning thtat TV crews could film close to conflict zone. American citizens were shocked to find that such casual violence was occuring.
- Doubts about the whole war efffort were occuring, TV reporters were saying the war was "unwinable"
The impact of Media coverage
Many soldiers felt that the media coverage undermined the war effort however:
- American attitudes were changing towards the war anyway by 1967, the media reflected these changing views it didn't create them.
- Casualties and war weariness were the main reason why support for the war dropped
- Shocking scenes were rarely shown on TV
- few TV reports showed dead/wounded and usually not in any detail.
- most of the critisms came from officials or the general public.
Anti War Protest Movements
CIVIL RIGHT'S CAMPAIGNERS The Vietnam war highlighted racial inequalitiy in the USA. there were realtivly few African-American in college wich meant more of them were drafted into the war Many groups opposed the draft because they felt they couldn't fight for a country wich disriminated agianst them at home.
STUDENTS one of the most powerful sources of opposition to the war came fromthe students. These young people didn't wanty to get drafted ino a war they didn't believe in/ felt was morally wrong. To these students Vietnam had become a symbol of defeat. Thousands of students began to "draft Dodge" refusing to serve when they got called up. in the first half of 1968 there were over 100 demonstrations. Frequently these protests would involve burning the amreican flag (which was a criminal offence in the USA)