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To What Extent Does Modern Media Coverage and Censorship of Conflicts Affect How People Interpret Them?

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‘To what extent does modern media coverage and censorship of conflicts affect how people interpret them?

Modern media coverage - the main means of mass communication - gives us news from around the globe, allowing us to develop an informed understanding of the world and its issues. Armed Conflict and tension between the world’s countries has only become more vehement, which has lead to an onslaught of media coverage, orchestrated by countries on either side of the conflicts, as well as countries that are regarded as outsiders. Information about these conflicts can be propagated by a myriad of different sources, which often besmirch its reliability by having a subjective stance. The biased viewpoints of this type of coverage can influence the views of people on a national and international level, depending on the influence and reputation of a nation’s media worldwide. This report will answer the research question ‘To what extent does modern media coverage of conflicts affect how people interpret them?’ by first evaluating how the media coverage of a conflict affects the direction of the conflict in the past, looking at the media situation in various countries, and finally come to a general consensus regarding the matter.


The media has sunk its claws deep into conflict’s soft underbelly over the past century, and history is littered with examples of this. The Vietnam War, the first war where media coverage was prevalent, evoked chaos within the United States as the influx of uncensored media depicting the horrors of the Vietnam incited major protests all over the country, forcing the United States to withdraw their troops. With 800,000 casualties, the more recent Rwandan Genocide is also linked to the media. One radio station: t...


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Thussu, Daya Kishan., and Des Freedman. "Contextualizing Conflict - The US War on Terrorism." War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7. London: Sage, 2003. N. pag. Print.
"United States Internet Usage, Broadband and Telecommunications Reports - Statistics." United States Internet Usage, Broadband and Telecommunications Reports - Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.
"US Plunges in World Press Freedom Index after NSA Leaks, Attacks on Whistleblowers - RT News." US Plunges in World Press Freedom Index after NSA Leaks, Attacks on Whistleblowers - RT News. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.
"World Press Freedom Index 2014." Reporters Without Borders. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.
Xu, Beina. "Media Censorship in China." Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. http://www.cfr.org/china/media-censorship-china/p11515



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