Media Manipulation

Media Manipulation - Media Manipulation As we step into the 21st century media is ever consuming With strong ties to technology and media knowledge

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Media Manipulation As we step into the 21 st century, media is ever consuming. With strong ties to technology and media, knowledge is equal to power in today’s society. However, manipulation by the media works to introduce ideas to viewers that aren’t always truthful , whether through deceit, inaccurate information, propaganda or public relations. While the media attempts to remain objective, it often reports stories that are either created by government and/or PR professionals, prepackaged news, or illustrated in a way that shapes the viewer’s attitude about an issue. Specific to the Bush administration and the Persian Gulf War, the media plays a large role in creating public opinion and attitudes through agenda setting when the government is involved. One of the most popular examples of PR persuasion can be seen as the media attemped to “sell war” to the American people during the Bush administration. As discussed in a senior capstone communications course about advocacy, selling war in the Middle East to the American people is not an easy task. Americans don’t want to think they are going to war over an insignificant oil dispute, so the government needed to introduce the proposal of war with a different basis. “How could the war appear noble and necessary rather than a crass grab to save cheap oil” (Stauber & Sheldon)? Public relations is one of the strongest weapons for war. “Wars are waged today by governments, and in democratic societies governments must win public support from their own citizens before they can fight and win a war against the enemy” (Hiebert, p. 29). A PR firm, Hill & Knowlton, was then hired by the government to arrange media interviews, organize public rallies, release hostage letters to the media, distribute news releases and information kits, contact politicians, and produce a nightly radio show
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(Stauber & Sheldon). Weapons of mass destruction were claimed to be in control of the Iraqi government, although they were never found. All modes of media were utilized to convince Americans that former ally Saddam Hussein turned evil, and that the oil territory in the Persian Gulf was a struggling young democracy in need of our help. “TV stations and networks simply fed the carefully-crafted propaganda to unwitting viewers, who assumed they were watching ‘real’ journalism” (Stauber & Sheldon). A young girl was publicized stating she witnessed Iraqi troops commit horrible actions, such as leaving newborns in incubators to die. The reality of this girl’s testimony is that she was the daughter of a U.S. ambassador (Raimondo). When shown images of suffering children, a mistreated population, and an immoral leader, the American people were persuaded to support the war. “What we read are carefully chosen words, and what
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2012 for the course COM 354* taught by Professor Lizellcessor during the Spring '12 term at Miami University.

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Media Manipulation - Media Manipulation As we step into the 21st century media is ever consuming With strong ties to technology and media knowledge

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