Conclusion

As media technology has evolved, the presence of images has come to dominate news coverage -- especially in times of war. This shift to image based media has changed how the public digests news. During the heyday of print, Americans had to construct a story in their minds based on what they read. But in the age of images, emotionally loaded photographs and moving pictures leave less to rational interpretation by the viewer. This is nowhere more apparent than in a time of war.

Especially in recent times, images of death and destruction have negatively influenced public sentiment. While in World War II, a war mainly covered by heavily censored print journalism, there was a general positive consensus on the war, the Vietnam conflict marked a dramatic change. Every night American audiences watched the war from their living rooms, seeing graphic imagery of death and mutilation. Images were not totally responsible for turning the tide against the war, but they were much more divisive than the print medium of World War II.

Television has taken center stage in modern media. Americans no longer turn to newspapers as their primary source of information -- television and other image media are too ingrained in culture. These images have become the essence of reporting as they present the public with their version of events like wars in a psychologically charged medium.


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