According to Errington & Miragliotta, the American government used national security to inflict more control on civil autonomy and media (2007, p.6). National security influenced the media to put across their preferred views. National security manipulated the media to portray the opponents as untrustworthy and weak individuals. National security used stereotypes and scapegoats to defend the government. For example, the decision of national security to control press freedom during the Vietnam War caused controversial issues concerning the legality of the journalistic operation. “National security contravened the constitutional provision that permitted dissemination of information to the public” (Economou & Tanner, 2008. p.50). Social dimension encouraged press freedom in a democratic community. Media served an important role in society since it acted as a watchdog for societal interest.
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Press restriction ruined political progress by hindering the flow of accurate and well-timed information to the people. However, “some people claimed that press restriction never breached the principle of First Amendment; they felt that media restriction reorganized relation between the media and military” (Economou & Tanner, 2008. p.50). Certain individuals perceived that national security acted unconstitutionally to restrict media involvement during the war in Iraq. It became evident that the rule of law got restricted during wartime. American national security-controlled civil liberties during crucial wars such as the Vietnam War, first and second world wars, War of Iraq, and the Civil War. Errington & Miragliotta viewed that American government-controlled media freedom as a way of conserving national security, silencing accusation of political views, and curbing rebels (2007, p.7). President Lincoln hampered media liberty, during Civil War, and commanded that the suspected political offenders be charged before the military court; Lincoln focused to develop railroads, though, rebels ruined railroad bridges in1861 at Baltimore.
Economou & Tanner asserted that American congress, during the First World War, prohibited the use of American mails for delivering materials (2008, p. 51). National security punished lawbreakers with a fine, and imprisonment. U.S President Wilson ordered American Congress to punish any person found useful publishing information to the opponents. The government-controlled media access to the Warfield, because they perceived that media would report information, which might influence public views leading to reduced support for the battle. “National security expected the media to disseminate information that entailed successful reports; it also wanted media to avoid disseminating information about enormous death in the Warfield, which would negatively affect public views” (Errington & Miragliotta, 2007, p. 6). National security wanted to avoid disseminating sensitive information, which might jeopardize, the lives of soldiers on the Warfield. Historical events showed how Media and politics came into the clash, especially during the moment of conflicts. Press Media aimed to reveal vital information to the public; while governments aspired to conceal many issues from the public. This paper explained how national security collided with Press Media on societal issues. The paper reflected on events that took place during the Vietnam War.
Errington & Miragliotta affirmed that American national security catered for the necessities of journalists in disseminating information about the battle (2007, p. 6). Though journalists had entire access to the Warfield, their information got restricted by national security. Government influenced what journalists had to report to the public. Nevertheless, media later realized that national security distorted information during the Vietnam War. The media insisted on reporting the whole truth to the public. This caused mistrust between national security and the media. Moreover, the public realized that the government disseminated false information while reporters stood for truth. “Television became an effective way to convey true information to the public, which fuelled public criticism against the battle” (Economou & Tanner, 2008. p.50). Journalists reported such protest showing how American people opposed the Vietnam War. Furthermore, anti-war campaigns caused President Johnson Lyndon not to vie for re-election during 1968. America lost the battle because politicians and military commanders lied to the public; after ten years of war, the public mistrusted their leaders.
Errington & Miragliotta viewed that American administration accused Press Media during the Vietnam battle, and threatened to censure media journalists over malicious information (2007, p.4). Military officials accused journalists of being responsible for supporting opponents; they felt annoyed by the manner press media caused intolerance in society. Such reports showed the public how United States was losing the Vietnam battle; thus the only alternative was to pull out American troops from Vietnam. “American National Security perceived that Media Press exaggerated reports concerning Vietnam War” (Economou & Tanner, 2008. p.51). For example, “Life Magazine” edited how 242 American troops got murdered in Vietnam in a single week of the battle.
This incident compelled military commanders in Vietnam to accuse media reporters for supporting the opponents to gain victory. Nevertheless, “Press Media defended themselves asserting that journalists only reported varying opinions of American citizens concerning the battle” (Economou & Tanner, 2008, p.48). Press Media revealed that taxation increased to incur the cost of the Vietnam battle; however, was burdensome to tax payers. “The American national security perceived that press media would shift peoples’ attention to oppose the battle” (Errington & Miragliotta, 2007, p. 3). However, it was necessary to note that media reports were objective without favor of any part. Journalists believed that they aired events of the battle honestly, even though their contents challenged government officials.
Economou, N., & Tanner, S 2008. Media, Power and Politics in Australia. Pearson Education Australia, French Forest.
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Errington, W., & Miragliotta, N 2007. Media & Politics: An Introduction. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.