Home > BLOG 4 > Blog #4: Journalists Job During War

Blog #4: Journalists Job During War

War arguably crates some of the most important time periods in our nation’s rich history. It come as no surprise such an important time period would be intensely covered by our media outlets, who are more prominent in the daily lives of our citizens than ever. An important question though is whether the news outlets providing us with our information on the current war are using discourse to challenge and question the decisions by our government leaders? Or are they being too reliant on the government to give them the information they are reporting instead of creating stories for themselves?

We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.  -Walter Lippmann

This idea that our government is always being truthful and righteous with the public during a time of war seems questionable. I personally feel our media does too good of a job of reporting everything our government has to say as news and not partaking in enough investigative journalism themselves. I understand the opposition to this argument where people believe it is wrong to cast doubt upon our government in a time of war when there are American lives at stake. They argue the government needs support more than ever while at war for this reason. But shouldn’t it be for the same reason, citizens of our country risking their lives, that journalists should make certain our leaders are making the right decisions?

A documentary I recently watched called War Made Easy exposes certain phrases and techniques Presidents use to get their message across during a war. The documentary compares these techniques to propaganda once used by evil leaders such as Adolf Hitler. Though I wouldn’t exaggerate the government’s intent to that extent, it does point out the influential power a President has during a time of war. The trailer for the documentary below gives an example of the issues brought forth in it.

An event such as 9/11, such a tragic and heart wrenching event for our country, may have been the time our government most needed its citizen’s support. Former President Georege W. Bush rallied for this support. I believe discourse is still important despite the horrific nature a day such as 9/11 brought about. It must be done in a respectful manner to the victims families and those directly affected by the terrorist attacks, but I think it is those families who will be be most appreciative of discovering the truth. The poll below represents the uncertainty countries all around the world had about who was behind the actual attacks (disregarding who our government believed to be behind them).

The role of a journalist after a war is an important one. They must report the information our government is providing an telling us about their intentions for the war. It is also their duty to make sure our government is being truthful and forthcoming about everything though. If not, journalists must do some digging and find the correct information so the pubic is not being fed false news. Journalists and the United States government should act as a checks and balance system during war to ensure accurate news media and to find the real story.

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  1. March 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Nice job. I particularly liked this line: “It must be done in a respectful manner to the victims families and those directly affected by the terrorist attacks, but I think it is those families who will be be most appreciative of discovering the truth.”

  2. March 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Also, third word should be “creates” not “crates.”

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