Coverage of the Vietnam antiwar movement in Time and Newsweek, 1965-71

Date
2000
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Johnson, Russell L.
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The impact of the news coverage of the antiwar movement was an important issue during the Vietman War. I tried to uncover the attitudes of the press towards the protesters by examining the two major news magazines Time and Newsweek between the years 1965 to 1971. During this seven year period the coverage moved from a negative reporting to a more neutral reporting. By examining the major demonstrations that took place between these years, I reflected the shift in the approach of both magazines. I tried to uncover whether the coverage of the antiwar movement had an effect on the war efforts. Most of the time after 1968, the coverage was at best neutral towards the protesters but generally they did not want to take any stance in the debate and tried to reflect the protests without any bias. The antiwar movement did not have a decisive impact on the war and at the same time, by examining their coverage and the public opinion, it can be said that the influence of the media over the public was hard to weigh. That period reflected the debate about the impact of the press and presented the complex relations among the press, administration and public.

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