Sunday, March 6, 2011

Difference in portrayal - How we see wars

We watched a clip from a British reporter in Iraq and suffice it to say it was much less graphic than some of the clips American stations show.

Is this bad? Is it better to see something in it's trueness or better to not be exposed to such violence and death?

I think it definitely has to do with the way they (either the government or the CEO's of the new stations) want the war perceived. In Britain, they don't need popular support because they are not heavily invested in the war, so the news reports will not incite too much emotion.

In the US, we need public support because we have such investment in the war. In the US, you will see the enemy in wars, you will hear how they need to be quelled and you will not see (most of the time) the dead in the wars (look into the whole thing with President Bush forbidding news casters from bases where caskets are returned to America). Therefore, our opinion of the war is more favorable because we see the enemy and want them gone. Conversely, if the news shows victims, we will react with anti-war tirades and demand a cessation to the war.


  1. This is definitely a great call and would certainly help explain the significant difference in reporting. Alternatively, you could look at it that the media in America is trying to turn the public against the war, and thus is doing all they can within the confines of Bush’s restrictions to show the war for its real violent self. In Britain, where they’re not invested in the war anyway, there’s no need to turn the public against the war, and thus they’re less willing to risk their lives to show violent footage. Either way you look at it, the British media seems to intent to elicit fewer emotions from its viewers.

  2. Imagery is a challenging thing to be objective about. On the one hand, it is important for viewers to be exposed to the horrors of a war or of a violent terrorist attack. However, not everyone wishes to see that and that should certainly be respected. Certain images are too painful for people to see. This is not to suggest that they wish to be ignorant or do not wish to appreciate what a war really means, it could simply mean they are not interested in seeing the intense photographs.

  3. Even though war is filled with emotional strain, the government must instill the army with insensitivity in order to win within the realms of the media. If it is only powered with emotions, than no side will seve justice, because it will strictly be impulsive. Therefore, the media can not show truth, causing the viewers to be concealed from the truth as well.

  4. I dont know if thats true. You can censor something and not make it too bloody while still telling the truth. you dont need to omit something from the news just to preclude an emotional reaction.