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Media And Propaganda Essay, Research Paper

Media and Propaganda

Media and propaganda have played an important role in swaying

and pacifying the opinions of the people of nations throughout wars in

the twentieth century. Media is information and news that is brought about by an organization, which is set to inform the public of ongoing happenings and events nationally and internationally, ( World Book, vol. 13). Propaganda is a form of media, newspapers, radio, television, posters, books, and other publications, any systematic, widespread dissemination, which is twisted and changed, in an attempt to change the views of people, usually in the time of war. Propaganda has to appeal to it s audience in three ways: call for action or opinion, make the action or opinion sound right and moral, and it must provide a pleasant feeling, ( World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. 15). These significant factors can drastically turn the tides of war in only a short time.

The Cold War was a war unlike any other. It was not a blood bath as the wars in the past. The Cold War was not fought with soldiers and

weaponry, it was a political and economical competition between the Soviet Union and the United States. Two major weapons used in this

conceptual war were media and propaganda. Posters, letters, and television ploys were just a few of the ways propaganda was applied to the battle. Two major components of the war was the space race and

the nuclear arms race. The U.S. and the Soviet Union contended with each other to see who could get into outer space first and who had more nuclear capabilities. Many propaganda posters were created from both sides displaying who had more power. The Soviet Union used propaganda to it s full extent by promoting their philosophy of economic egalitarianism, socialist ideas, (Cold War Damage) in western countries that sanctioned these ideas. The promotion of these beliefs were undertaken openly through radio broadcasts and dissemination of publications, magazines and newspapers. This ideological intervention conducted by the Soviets influenced many nations to turn to communism turning the tides of the war, causing democracy to struggle more with the endless battle of containing communism. The United States even created an agency who s main policy was propaganda; the USIA, United States Information Agency. The Voice of America, which

is the radio division of the USIA, broadcasts propaganda, along with news and entertainment, across the world. This brought American

propaganda to nations all over the world during the cold war. The USIA helped persuade many countries to side with democracy.

As of 1957, the United States entered a war against North Vietnam, which is a communist nation. During this time period the U.S was on their campaign of containing communism. The U.S was there to stop North Vietnam from infiltrating and taking over South Vietnam forcing them to become a communist nation. Unlike the Cold War, this war required more than just media and propaganda as weapons. Nevertheless, media and propaganda affected the war drastically. Armed photographers and cameramen saturated the battle fields of Vietnam, there to bring the horrid images that lay on film back to the U.S. Theses images changed the views of thousands and thousands of people in the United States causing protests and riots. This spilt the United States apart dividing the people into “hawks and doves”. Hawks being for the fight against communism, the doves being against the fight. Propaganda posters were plastered all over North Vietnam some reading, “Remember your hatred of the Americans,” showing a picture

of a grieving young girl in a bombed out street; ( Marshall, Samantha). The Vietnamese had a strong propaganda campaign which proved to be

a mighty foe. Posters reading such as this one, angered the Vietnamese more, fueling their drive to stop at nothing to remove the foreign influence that the U.S brought to their country. As of January 27th, 1973, the United States involvement in the war ceased, validating that the North Vietnamese had succeeded in using propaganda, media, and their die-hard mentality to rid their nation of our influence.

The Cold War is an example of the usage of propaganda and media in nonviolent manner. The Vietnam War is an example of media and propaganda being used in a vicious fashion. Propaganda and media has and will continue to manipulate views and shift the movements of war as long as war is present.


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