Research Proposal: Role of Media in Vietnam

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[. . .] This publication is the veteran's oral historical experience of the Vietnam War who was not directly involved in the war. Besides them, author has also conducted various interviews from veterans who were directly involved in the war. Print media has also contributed to a large extend on exposing the realities of Vietnam War and contributing towards the idea of educating common man about the harsh realities f life. Media of any sort can never be overly relied as it can portray distorted picture and bias our opinion. However, it's the best source of getting information relating to our surroundings. First hand information through interviews is comparatively most reliable source of information and can be relied to longer extend then mere projections and ideas.

Interviews with ARVN members:

Some of the interviews conducted from the ARVN members are briefly discussed below:

1. Interview with Nguyen Cong Thanh: Nguyen Cong Thanh was military member responsible for the territory from Pleiku to Ban Me Thout. In his interview he revealed that his unit was 30 kilometers from Pleiku and they were given orders to head towards Ban Me Thout for attack. He and his team was involved in the difficult and deadly task of attacking Ban Me Thout from Buon Ho by making their way from mountain trials. As soon as the enemy gets hind of their presence in the nearest location they would send their troops to stop us from getting into the city. During this encounter many of the military forces from both the sides die. They were given orders to attack the air bases where even families were residing. They had started their attack from the Hoa Binh camp. The objective of this mission was to liberate western high lands.

2. Interview with Phuong Nam: Phuong Nam was a member of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam. He recalled his experience of traveling to Camp David at Tan Son Nhut in 1973. He recollected the memories of his companions digging a well as a precaution against the Thieu regime shutting down the running water and was accused of digging a tunnel to attack Saigon. It wasn't until Lt. General Phan Hoa got involved that the water returned. Phuong Nam also shared his experience about April 26, 1975 when a message was communicated saying that a safe corridor had been agreed for the American forces and advisors to leave Saigon, and it was actually a trumped-up story on the part of the Americans with no traces of reality.

3. Interview with Nguyen Huu Hanh: General Nguyen Huu Hanh, an active ARVN commander in the last days of the Vietnam War shared his views on the events of April 28, 1975 when Duong Van Minh took power and after which the confusion and anarchy that followed. Nguyen Huu Hanh also discussed about the meeting between a former French colonel who was pro-American and Duong Van Minh. It was recently after this event that Nguyen Huu Hanh supported the announcement about the transfer of power to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam. Nguyen Huu Hanh also addressed the fall of Saigon and the invasion of the NLF at Independence Palace immediately after the transmission of power.

CONCLUSION

Wars, whether it's against the socialist parties, communism, prevalence of democratic societies or against terror in each form displays a picture which is ruthless maneuvering of the human body and devastation of the physical resources of nations. It's not only the victims who suffered from such losses but rather the forces involved have also compromised on such losses. During the phase of uncertainty, turbulence and war there is a panic amongst people of the nation about the risk to their lives and for their future survival. Ignorance can be evenly devastating during such time and along with it over flow of information can exaggerate the situation that can create despair and masses of anti-bodies worsening the situation.

Whether it is the conflict of Vietnam or the conflict of Afghanistan, illiteracy and agencies working against the development of society can create even worse situation then wars can do. Media is playing its role of creating awareness, educating people of their existence and raising their voices for their rights. Media in any form whether it be print media, electronic media or the cyber media can change the mind set of masses. This influential impact of media must not be taken for granted and must not be misused as well. Government policies that are meant for the betterment of the people might seem sugar coated must not be overly criticized by media for their publicity and fame.

Freedom of speech is given to each member of the society, along with this freedom also comes the respect to the opposed opinion. When any comment is aired about any event, it should be of unbiased views not routing the thinking of its audience. Instead they should be creating awareness for them to better decide on the situations and circumstances. The media plays its role during the times of uncertainty effectively by not creating hype about the situation which can lead to a false picture and image in people mind set.

The Vietnam War was fought against communist rule and America has supported initially France to prevent Northern Vietnam to capture the Southern region. For this purpose they include Southern Vietnam into their ally and try to loosen the control of North Vietnam. There are many controversial views over the whole scenario and many aspects were being exaggerated and understated in the media according to their convenience and flexibility. Media was then given liberty to publish the true picture and include the people element in the government policies and decisions.

The connection that is built between the people and the government if through media, it bridges the gap between both the bodies. In the democratic society where emphasis know a days is given to the building of knowledge society where each individual action is being governed by the learning capacities and learned behavior of individual. Media has a very effective role to play by giving space to people to comment about the happenings around the world and allowing them to give their just opinion on the issues concern. People are more advance and educated then they were 3 decades ago. Policies which were then adopted can no longer be carried forward in the recent generation. Media has to be active, outreached and just in the modern era.

References

Donohue, G, Tichenor, P, & Olien, C. (1995). A Guard Dog Perspective on the Role of Media. Journal of Communication, 45(2), 115 -- 132.

Halberstam, D, Sheehan, N, & Arnett, P. (1996). Once upon a distant war. Vintage Books: NY.

Hallin, D. (1984). The media, the war in Vietnam, and political support: a critique of the thesis an oppositional media. The Journal of Politics, 46, 1-24.

King, L. (1992). A Time to Break Silence. Retrieved June 16, 2011 from http://www.deanza.edu/faculty/swensson/king.html

Li. X. (2010). Voices from the Vietnam War: Stories from American, Asian and Russian Veterans. The Oxford press of Kentucky.

McLaughlin, E. Television Coverage of the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veteran. Retrieved June 16, 2011 from http://www.warbirdforum.com/media.htm

Mermin, J. (1999). Debating war and peace: media coverage of U.S. intervention in the post- Vietnam era. Princeton University Press: New Jersey.

Moyar, M. (2006). Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965. Cambridge University Press.

Origins of the Insurgency in South Vietnam, 1954 -- 1960, The Pentagon Papers (Gravel Edition), Volume 1, Chapter 5, (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), Section 3, pp. 314 -- 346; International Relations Department, Mount Holyoke College.

Small, M. (1994). Covering dissent: The media and the anti-Vietnam movement. Rutgers University Press: New Jersey.

Boylan, T. (2007). The role of the media in the Vietnam War. Helium: 20th & 21st Century… [END OF PREVIEW]

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