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The domination of fear to the extent of causing hysteria

The Role of the Media During the Cold War Alexander StaffordOct 26 2013, 31143 views This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. It will evidence how the media on both sides of the ideological division sort to produce, contribute and maintain political and cultural antagonism.

The essay will also evidence how the main method of this was the development and distribution of political propaganda, both domestically and internationally.

To begin, there will be a brief exploration of the historical context of the media followed by a detailed presentation of its actions. During this time, the media predominantly consisted of, print, film, radio, and TV. This was prior to the popularity of decentralised media institutions such as electronic social media. This is worthy of note because as broadcasting requires large amounts of funding; centralised media is extremely susceptible to state control Bernhard, 1999. The Cold War is accepted to have lasted from 1947 to 1991.

When American aspirations for European capitalism seemed threatened; media in both blocs jumped into action. While the actions of the state-owned Soviet media would not be expected to take a watchdog approach, what may have been surprising was the extent to which the western media took a mouthpiece position Carruthers, 2011.

The allegiance the domination of fear to the extent of causing hysteria the majority of the media took to government policy and the politicisation of its content began almost immediately with the start of the Cold War. This is evident with the early Cold War television reports often being scripted and sometimes produced by the defence establishment Bernhard, 1999. This development of the media accepting governmental influence was essential to the production of public support for state actions.

The initial role the media took was to motivate the post-WW2 populace into reaffirming and defending their national political and economic allegiances.

While the private-owned Western media was obliging in the defence of Western economic and military interests, the state-censored soviet media was just as ready to defend theirs. At the start of the conflict, media coverage of the Cold War between America, its allies and the Soviet Union served to escalate domestic fear of imminent destruction. The use of print with easily de-codable and emotive images helped to redefine national identity as a virtuous and patriotic America, against a dangerous and destructive socialist east.

It worked to subdue any domestic sympathy for the enemy or resistance to the conflict that usually occurs during war. It was a calculated action to maintain public antagonism towards the enemy and rejection of their political and economic policies.

The media extended the propaganda to every aspect of western life, from radio, film, television and print to even schools.

  • The third Dutch war started on March 17, 1672;
  • The Cold War is accepted to have lasted from 1947 to 1991.

This act of media manipulation to create mass fear and paranoia cannot be undervalued, it was the conscious effort of the powerful to marginalise unpopular opinion and spread the dominate agenda. It also assisted in the solidification and polarisation of cultural differences and reinforced political ideology Mikkonen, 2010.

Media pollicisation and propaganda techniques were also used as a direct tool against the enemy. There was a direct contribution of the media to the war effort which saw the media engaging in antagonistic psychological warfare. This was achieved by dissembling propaganda into the Soviet Union via the radio, as an attempt to spread pro-capitalist sentiment into the soviet population and create a more pro-Western culture.

The Soviet media also used the medium of radio within its own states and other countries as a form of transnational propaganda. Because the Soviet media was state-censored; it sought to legitimise its appearance by camouflaging its production origins.

These actions of the media show the progression from a seemingly more passive producer of public support and political compliance, to an active tool of the war itself Chisem, 2012. The media on both sides of the divide were responsible for the production of public opinion, the contribution of propaganda, and maintenance of antagonism via psychological warfare. While maintaining political loyalty to their nation states, there governmental brief was to project the positive aspects of their nations into the Soviet Union.

This was a form of gentle, yet cohesive, diplomacy Chisem,2012. It sought to counteract Soviet propaganda by subversively offering a positive view of the perceived enemy.

Water Fever and the Fear of Chronic Dehydration

While doing this, the Western media soon realised the relevance of the fact that the Soviet Union was not a homogeneous society. The colonial empire consisted of many nationalities, such as Ukrainians and those from the Baltic States. By tailoring radio announcements to individual minorities, the West was able to construct a long-term strategy of disrupting territorial integrity.

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This was profoundly antagonistic to the Soviet state, which feared the growth of domestic separatists Chisem, 2012. The media of the Cold War era can even be accredited with the marketing of the conflict. Because of the mutually assured destruction M. D of the two nuclear powers; the Soviet Union and the West only engaged in proxy wars with satellite states.

  • It produced much outrage among the general public and encouraged the natural antipathy of the English towards the French;
  • So for Vincent London is a new Sodom:

One such example is the Vietnam War of 1955-1975. This was due to the media coverage of the conflict now becoming exceedingly reported through television.

Dig Deeper: Why did Americans fear communism?

The television coverage of the conflict was relentless and lasted for several years. While news coverage at the beginning of the conflict was often scripted and pro-Western, this reporting was not. The media had unfettered access to the conflict and took more independence in their reporting. Accordingly, the public reaction to constant exposure of war brutality also changed. The Western media moved away from its position as a governmental mouthpiece, and began to adopt a more watchdog approach Carruthers, 2011.

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It was this change, combined with the graphic reporting of the war, which has since been accredited with the thwarting of American victory. The most obvious and crucial act of the media, which eroded the public antagonism towards the Soviet Union and support towards the conflict, was the publishing of the Pentagon Papers.

Several newspapers, including the The New York Times and the Washington Post, printed extracts of the governmental documents which were classified as top secret Urban, 1997.

  1. He wrote, "This summer, the French joined us at sea and betrayed us at the same time, for in the sea fight upon the 18 of May, the French squadrons stood off and left us and the Dutch to dispute the day. At the Battle of Texel in August, 1673, the French commander, D'Estrees, said he did not engage the Dutch in battle because of his failure to understand the signal the English commander, Prince Rupert, had given.
  2. I am a runner and ultimate player.
  3. In the late 1660's and during the 1670's, the intensity of anti-Catholicism was on the rise again due to the pro-French policies of Charles II's government, especially its foreign policy. The naval war, which was under English leadership, got off to a poor start.
  4. I might drink that much on an athletic day in the sun, but on a typical day of sitting here writing articles like this?

These papers revealed a deliberate government distortion of previously reported statistics that had been perceived as undesirable. The distortion concerned the numbers of causalities and successful operations, which were significantly worse than previously stated.

In the Crucible, Arthur Miller shows us how fear and suspicion can destroy a community.

The media now evidenced to the people how the government had misled them concerning the facts of war. What the media did here was reposition themselves as the only reliable information distributer and eroded confidence in the government. Subsequently, domestic reaction to this Cold War proxy conflict changed.

Domestic and international anti-war movements grew, and the media was responsible. What it is now evident is that throughout the Cold War, the media played a central role in the production and maintenance of antagonism between both sides of the conflict.

  • A good example can be seen in France where the king assumed absolute authority after the abolition of the powers of its legislative branch, the Estates General, in 1628;
  • A majority of the English people believed in the Popish Plot;
  • In August, 1678, he had arrived back in London, penniless on the doorstep of Israel Tonge, a fanatical Anglican clergyman;
  • Sir Thomas Meres said, "What is it that makes us so jealous on this question but our fears of popery?

Dominant views were enforced and detractors were marginalised. The media produced virtuous national identities to legitimise themselves and denounce their enemies. Sensational propaganda and politicised reporting developed a societal fear of imminent destruction and severe paranoia. This assisted the government in the harvesting of a supportive population.

The media also worked as a direct tool of the conflict by communicating to the population of the Soviet Union.

Role of Anti-Catholicism in England in the 1670s

This in itself was an extremely antagonistic action that worked very well as a soft power method of the west Bernhard, 1999.

When the media changed to an increasingly watchdog position of reporting, some of the antagonism that it had produced against the Soviet Union became directed at the national government. It achieved this with sensational reporting, and exploitation of cultural divides, the maintenance of societal fear and the production of propaganda. The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.

Columbia University Press Mikkonen, S. Dr Debbie Lisle Date written: