Pros Cons of Frontline Media Coverage


It has been said that the media in our country exploits the tragedies and hardships of people around the world. This opinion tends to overpower any possible benefit that full coverage media could bring to light. For example, in the most recent war in Iraq, the U.S. media helped to encourage support for our troops, showed the public that the entire world was not in opposition to our presence in Iraq, and gives the public a chance to scrutinize strategic decisions that our government has made.

The war in Iraq would have been more disapproved of, if the media had not shown how much progress we were making. After an American troop transport helicopter was shot down last week, killing 16 U.S. soldiers President Bush was quoted saying, "America will never run." This portrays that our leader must be doing all that he can to rid the world of such misguided people that would attack the same people who saved them from such an atrocious dictator as Saddam Hussein. During the march across the desert last March in Iraq, portrayed the determination of our armed forces and proved that our country could end conflict as quickly as possible. The United States had overthrown Saddam Hussein's dictatorship in close to a month's time and considering that our troops had no support and were fighting half way across the world. It is said that the U.S. has accomplished our task efficiently and then turned our efforts on rebuilding and installing a new government that would work for the people in Iraq. "Twice in the past two weeks the Iraqi opposition has hit high-profile U.S. targets that had been largely beyond its reach." The media broadcasts information such as this, so that viewer's may grasp a hold an understanding of what is going on. There are still pockets of opposition forces still loyal to Hussein that which forces us to stay and occupy the region. When we leave the country we do not want another terrorist organization to step in and cause instability in the world once again. All of these events were covered in-depth and on location by the media, and without this coverage I am sure that I would not be aware of how good the work that our country is doing in Iraq is.

When the war in Iraq was first proposed, the U.S. met with great opposition from other countries in the United Nations. Before the war in Iraq had begun the United States was pushing the world to join its cause and help to rid the world of threats to the peace and safety of the world. Unfortunately not many countries wanted to get involved. One of our supporters was Great Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair. Who often met with President George Bush to discuss ways of drawing other countries to our cause. The media in both countries covered these meeting extensively and showed the world that The United States was not the only ones worried about terrorism in the world. It helped to show the world who our allies were. Media coverage on events such as these is important, because it shows the viewers events and progressions that are taking place in the war. By the end of the war the media was focusing most of its efforts on the people in Iraq that were destroying and disfiguring the many statues, one of the statues was former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. This in turn, sparked new morale for our troops and for Americans who were beginning to tire of all the news broadcastings of killing and horrific violence in the Middle East. The destruction of the statues was a powerful symbol in the war in Iraq that showed how the Iraqi people were grateful of the work us Americans had done in Iraq. It showed that we really had saved them from and oppressive and terrible way of life. Without media coverage we as Americans would not have witnessed a major turning point of the War on Iraq.

Some people believe that it is not necessary to display graphic pictures or footage, as the media has been doing. However, it is important for this footage and pictures so that people in since see evidence to what is happing in the war. Coverage such as discussed events are important for the mass media to be present and to report on.

Most importantly, coverage of the war effort has helped to keep U.S. citizens informed on what their country is doing outside its own border, and gives them a chance to speak their mind on how their government is representing its people throughout the world. "It is damaging not only because of the tragic human toll, but also because it looks like a dramatic escalation in lethality and therefore begs obvious questions: Are all helicopters at risk now? Are we loosing the Initiative? Who is winning?" said Peter D. Feaver, in response to the attack on the helicopter that took the lives of 16 Americans. The best thing the media can do during this life changing event of what we call war, is to keep the American people up-to-date with information and the reason for this is simple. "Those losses would result in a change in U.S. policy because the American people did not understand why the battle had occurred," remarked Colin L. Powell. This was said after the October 1993 "Black Hawk Down" battle in Mogadishu, Somalia. Another perfect example of the media helping the people, "keep tabs" on the government is with the new $87.5 billion supplemental bill, coming up, for military expenses and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. However over 3/4 of the money will go to troops in Iraq and a much smaller fraction that will support the troops in Afghanistan, this information should make the American people question its governments actions. What are going on in Iraq to warrant such funding, and if Iraq needs that much why is Afghanistan receiving so much less. Afghanistan it still a very unsafe place to be an American, and still has traces of Osama Bin Laden's terrorist organization attacking American troops. The media to this day will still cover this topic but not as extensively as the coverage in Iraq.

The constitution guarantees the media the right to inform the people and to scrutinize this "over coverage" seems to go against what our country was founded on, the freedom of speech. Without the media we, the people, have less support for our troops, and the government could do anything it wanted without us knowing, and we would not know where our alliances lie. How would we really understand the events and details of this war without the media's coverage. The media is our source of information to events that are occurring on the other side of the war!


Everywhere you look today you see something to do with the war overseas in Iraq. Whether some news station are reporting on another building we've bombed, more people we've captured or reports on the Iraqi people, you are going to see something. All of this war coverage has a negative effect on the people in the United States and the progress on the war. War coverage impedes the progress of the war, has negative effects on children and annoys many people in the United States. It is also certain that the media does not tell the full story but only the information that is going to capture the attention of its viewers. Attention will be captured by showing bombs going off and action footage not footage of our soldiers feeding Iraqi's who are unable to afford food. The media shows more negativity of the war happenings than the good our soldiers are doing over there

A few weeks ago Geraldo Rivera of CNN was kicked out of Iraq for revealing plans of the military in the war. (mrcranky). Geraldo told the public what the military was going to do before they did it, pretty much inadvertently tipping off the Iraqi forces. This truly impedes the progress of the war. Not only does it prevent the military from following through with their plans, but also they have to take the time and police the media in Iraq. The military could be doing better things with their time like winning the war, rather than policing the media. If the media really feels that they need to be there, then they should at the least not report on future events and stick to the events that have already taken place. Actions such as Geraldo's almost insinuate that the media should be babysat and told what should and shouldn't be said. With an incident such as Geraldo's involves media stepping on toes and invading the privacy of secret military operations.

Bowling Green State University • Designed by Stephen Gorman