Perspective: Are We Ready for More?; It Started with Vietnam, Got More Intensive in the Falklands and Reached New Heights in the Gulf. Now Any Conflict with Iraq Could See the Media Occupying Front-Line Positions Alongside Elite Troops. Paul Groves and Steve Gorman Ask If We Are Ready for Such Coverage

The Birmingham Post (England), February 18, 2003 | Go to article overview

Perspective: Are We Ready for More?; It Started with Vietnam, Got More Intensive in the Falklands and Reached New Heights in the Gulf. Now Any Conflict with Iraq Could See the Media Occupying Front-Line Positions Alongside Elite Troops. Paul Groves and Steve Gorman Ask If We Are Ready for Such Coverage


Byline: Paul Groves and Steve Gorman

The colour footage of carpet bombing, napalm attacks and the grainy photographs of civilian casualties of the Vietnam war set a benchmark for future conflicts.

The role of the media in war has continued to develop. The brutal reality of war was brought into American living rooms during the 1960s and arguably created the public backlash against the conflict that has seen the US attempting to sweep Vietnam under the carpet ever since.

In the 1980s it was the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands that kick-started another television revolution. Coverage of Britain's successful campaign to recapture the far-flung outcrop brought a new realism to such reporting.

Images of that conflict still longer in the memory, such as casualties from a British vessel hit by enemy aircraft rowing themselves ashore or troops yomping across a barren wasteland and right into Port Stanley to liberate the islands. Also, Brian Hanrahan's 'I counted them all out and I counted them all in' line remains one of the quotes of the decade, if not the century.

The media then went into overdrive during the Gulf War and we saw the final few seconds of missiles racing towards the ground before obliterating Iraqi targets as we sat drinking our cups of tea at home.

Coverage of the US-led war on terrorism in Afghanistan was on a similar level. But the difficulty of the terrain and refusal to co-operate by US-led forces made it almost impossible to provide front-line reporting, despite John Simpson's liberation of Kabul on behalf of the BBC.

However, any conflict with Iraq will see a whole new dimension brought to war reporting.

Television viewers accustomed to watching war played out through high-altitude footage of 'smart bombs' might see something very different if the United States invades Iraq - live combat troops in action.

After tightly curbing media access to military operations in Grenada, the 1991 Gulf War and again in Afghanistan, the Pentagon plans to let journalists accompany front-line soldiers should US-led armed forces move in to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The US Defense Department has even provided 'boot camp' training to prepare journalists for the rigours and hazards of working in a war zone where exposure to biological or chemical weapons is a possibility.

Broadcast news crews and their audiences also will benefit from improved communications gear, including satellite uplinks, that is smaller and more portable than 12 years ago.

American television networks are generally enthusiastic about plans to 'embed' American and foreign journalists with the US military's air, sea and land units, saying it marks a big step forward in relations between the Pentagon and the news media.

Mindful that the public remains deeply sceptical about going to war, Pentagon officials have said it is in their interests to provide Western news media access to combat zones to counteract the potential for Iraqi disinformation that could be distributed by Arab news outlets.

The Defense Department insists that journalists will be free to report on all aspects of the war, including civilian casualties and 'friendly fire' incidents, without subjecting their stories to prior review or editing by military censors.

'It's a sea change of attitude in granting us access, and it's a bold step, and I think they're serious about it,' said Robin Sproul, the Washington bureau chief for ABC News. 'It should show the public a view of war that they haven't really seen before.'

But are we ready for such coverage? Psychologist Simon Hammersley believes the average television viewer can make the distinction between fact and fiction without a second thought.

However, he is concerned at the increasingly graphic depiction of certain issues and stories in the media and the long-term impact this could have on viewers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Perspective: Are We Ready for More?; It Started with Vietnam, Got More Intensive in the Falklands and Reached New Heights in the Gulf. Now Any Conflict with Iraq Could See the Media Occupying Front-Line Positions Alongside Elite Troops. Paul Groves and Steve Gorman Ask If We Are Ready for Such Coverage
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.