News during the Vietnam War Essay

The Vietnam War dominated world headlines and most of the information was shown in televisions and radios. The war, which took ten years, was fully supported by Kennedy, who took office during the onset of the war. Americans were against communism, and therefore, sent soldiers to Vietnam. The foremost reason for the Vietnam War was to stop the northern region, led by Ho Chi Minch, to take over leadership forcefully. They were against the government, and had planned to overturn the ruling authority to take control of the country. Vietnam War is the longest war that has been witnessed in the world history. It ended when Americans withdrew their troops after realizing their goals. The Vietnam War resulted in misunderstandings between countries worldwide, especially owing to the ideological differences. In this essay, the Vietnam War is discussed in detail and news the media broadcasted across the world highlighted. 

During the war, the public had been exposed to the activities happening at the Vietnam War fought in Vietnam through media. This explains why human beings are more interested in revising history rather than understanding the meaning of the war to people (Samantha). The story about Vietnam War was wrongly broadcasted in the news, magazines, books and journals. This made people have negative mind-sets toward the war. Surprisingly, the Vietnam War is greatly misunderstood than the history of Americans, because the media gave distrustful reports about the war results, hence, the citizens received incorrect information. This affected negatively the way people associated with war, which was meant to promote peace and stop Vietnam government form being overturned by the dictators. The negative reporting of the Vietnam War has caused many individuals to forget the essential details about the war. The production of books, magazines, articles and documentaries by various artists has spread the message of Vietnam, as myths rather than suppositions.

Kennedy condemned the media houses that published irrelevant information. The Washington office and Kennedy’s administration involved themselves in the consulting editors of the top media house in America. They accused the editors of publishing wrong reports about the Saigon Press Corps. This made the American government to clash with reporters and the media house that confused the citizens by giving wrong information to the people. The big question from the press was whether USA had joined the war to help the Vietnam country or they wanted to prove their potency as a world superpower. The media is accused of giving irrelevant information to the public, creating several considerations. According to research done, the press and journalist only gave two thirds of the report as accurate information got from the Vietnam War. 

The main motive of the press and the media house were to elevate the sales of the literature they produced, since people were eager to get information on how the war was proceeding.  They also lacked the source of getting information; therefore, they were forced to twist the stories to appeal to the citizens (Rhodes). The information looked attractive and people purchased the magazines and books. Vietnam War was the longest war ever in world’s history, and this made it unmatched. Therefore, people wanted to know more about the developing stories of the historical war. The information published by the press and the media houses was condemned by the American administration and most journalists faced trials to substantiate their reports. Conversely, the media also played an imperative part during the war since it was able to update and inform the world the real situation on the ground. It updated the world with current news making headlines, hence reducing the tension in citizens. Therefore, the media should be watchful in transmitting insubstantial issues to the populace.

The news broadcasted during the war was spread by the media, which was exceptionally active and determined to inform the world of the war. In America, media houses such as The New York Times were busy acquiring information and reporting it to the citizens in full details (Baum, 2003). The reporters managed to capture astonishing pictures at the battlefields and villages in Vietnam. These images sent a worrying message to the society, and made people convince the countries to stop combating. The media brought out the plight of women and children through their photos and reports. It is through these reports that human rights organizations took the matter seriously and initiated efforts to promote peace. The use of drugs by the American soldiers was also an issue that was contentious. Most of them became drug addicts, a big problem that affected the soldiers since their efficiency was lessened. The media brought out the issues to the public, and it became a big debate. The drugs that were reported to be used by most of the Americans soldiers included marijuana, and cannabis, which were mainly abundant in the Vietnams fields. The media also brought out the plight of the Vietnams and American soldiers who were actively involved in the war. They faced difficulties such as diseases, lack of food, and exposure to diverse dangers. According to the reports, they carried the burden of the countries; hence, suffered emotionally due to the tough challenges (Caputo).

Vietnam was the first war in the world to be televised by journalists in the battlefield. The devices used to record the war were big and cumbersome to carry. They were also difficult to operate with since they were laborious and necessitated exceptional skills. The journalist dedicated their life to their work and did not care about the dangers facing their lives. Fortunately, they managed to record the fights and capture images that affected the populace. The report they managed to come up with helped people to know what was happening on the ground. The information they gathered was especially derived from the military men. The response they got from the majority of the populace was positive, since they were appreciated for revealing the challenges and the plights of the people involved in the war.


The news broadcasted during the Vietnam War was published in magazines, journals, and TV. The media and press faced challenges in releasing the information they had gathered in battlefields through interviewing soldiers. The USA government was infuriated by some of the information from the media, claiming that they were lies. Other organizations and groups of human rights were not satisfied with the information that the press gave to the world, therefore this became the most challenge the media faced. The media highlighted several messages that touched the hearts of the populace including the predicament of women and children and the abuse of drugs. The information brought out was the plight of the military men who underwent a hard time. The media is an essential tool in informing people what is happening around the environment.      


Works Cited

Baum, Mathew. Soft news goes to war: public opinion and American foreign policy in the new 

media age. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2003. Print.

Hill, Raymond. The Future Military-Media Relationship: The Media as an Actor in War 

Execution. 2010. Web. October 3, 2011. Available at:


Philip, Caputo. A Rumor of War. Owls books / Henry Holt. 2000. Web. October 3, 2011. 

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Power, Samantha. War and Never Having to Say You’re Sorry. The New York Times. 2003. 

Web. October 3, 2011. Available at:


Rhodes, Henry. The News Media’s Coverage of the Vietnam War. Yale-New Haven Teachers

Institute. 2011. Web. October 3, 2011. Available at:


Roush, Gray. Statistics about the Vietnam War. 2011. Available at: