Media has a pivotal role in the understanding of international conflicts. Whether it be through newspapers, television, radio, or the internet; the media has the job of explaining and presenting said conflicts to the masses. If it does so correctly, it has the potential to create a catalyst for change. However, if done incorrectly, it could have disastrous consequences.
The center of said problems with international conflict coverage can be found in what can be seen as the biggest center of media in the world, the United States. The U.S. tends to cover these affairs in a less than ethical manner. This malpractice can be simplified into four key patterns, which will be discussed through the rest of this blog post.
When the U.S. covers a conflict happening in a different area of the world, they tend to simplify the conflict, creating arbitrary brackets that the masses can understand. This action, however, could lead people to understand the conflict incorrectly, and potentially underestimate or overestimate the danger of said conflict. The U.S. also tends to give certain conflicts more media representation than others. This is due to bias towards the area of the world that these conflicts are taking place in. This bias can be related to allies, or even to make enemies look worse. The U.S. also tends to take a U.S. centric approach to foreign conflict. They tend to ask how will this affect me, rather than relaying the facts or calling for action. The U.S. also tends to amplify or de-amplify the true amount of violence in a conflict, in order to garner greater readership or viewership from people who desire to see both ends of the spectrum.
Evidently, while the U.S. is a media powerhouse, it has its issues with regards to covering international conflicts. This malpractice can be presented through four key media patterns. These patterns cause U.S. citizens to often misunderstand said conflicts, which could have disastrous effects in the long run.