So.. Who’s Side Are You On?

Media is a great resource for people across the globe because, well, we can know in an instant what is happening anywhere across the globe. However when it comes to the different types of media, the problem of manipulation and “bending the truth” comes into play. News stations, newspapers, magazines, and other types of media have the upper hand on what they want to report and how they want to report it. In the past century, there have been many events that have been easily misconstrued for the public because of the way media reports it. That topic is war.

The United States was founded on freedom, which includes freedom of speech. With every major war (i.e. Vietnam, Korea, Iraq) there have been two sides to the decision to engage with other countries. There are those for the war and those against, but how a few Americans decide what side they take is partically based on how the media portrays the war.

This photo represents the different ways media can portray an event. The middle being the original and the left and right being drastic changes to the original.

In his article, Chuck Klosterman focuses on how “canned laughter” or “laff boxes” in television shows are used to bring a “fake” hilarity to a program. Specifically he says, “What bothers me is the underlying suggestion that what you are experiencing is different than whatever your mind tells you is actually happening” (165). This ties into war propaganda and media manipulation because, for example, what someone reads or sees on Fox News or CNN may be altered to make you think a certain way about the war. From the photograph above, someone may show the one on the left and claim the war is brutal and should stop. Then the other side could show the right photo and say we are helping the cause. One simple “crop” of a picture can sway the meaning drastically.

It is extremely easy to be swayed one way or another based on media because the sources of media are all limited in that we do not know for sure if we are getting the whole picture. War is not the only topic disputed. We see this media manipulation in everyday ads and products whether we notice or not.

However, in my opinion, the best way to immunize yourself from being led away from the truth is to attempt to gather as many facts as possible in order to allow yourself to make your own educated decision on what is right. Where there is a writer for the war, there is one against it, and one undecided. All points and opinions that are valid should be considered before making up your mind.

This is a propaganda from the Vietnam War.

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This entry was posted in Blog #2. Manipulation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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