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At war: government and the media

Media and the government are two of the largest institutions within a country. They were both designed for a common goal: to serve the people. However, these two forces do not often cooperate. The media is free to criticize the government in order to improve its function, but it is becoming all too common for journalists to unnecessarily attack the government and its organizations. As a result, some governments wish to take control over private media sources so that they can share their sides of the story. Author Michael Socolow explains this conflictive relationship. He also offers great references and examples from the past, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s attempt to control the media, to give us a more holistic view of the issue.

Socolow, Michael. “At war: government and the media.” The Boston Globe. 13 December 2005. Web. 24 June 2012. <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/12/13/at_war_government_and_the_media>.


War, Propaganda and the Media

Historically, countries have based their successes and their sovereignty on the outcomes of war.  Media has been instrumental for governments to convince their people that war is necessary. From the Romans to the Nazis, from the Cold War to Iraq, numerous countries gain public support for war efforts from propaganda, a type of advertisement that often omits much of the truth and exaggerates the “enemy.”  In this article, author Anup Shah describes how powerful the government and media are when they work together, which is a perspective that not many others share.

Shah, Anup. “War, Propaganda and the Media.” Global Issues. 31 March 2005. Web. 24 June 2012. <http://www.globalissues.org/article/157/war-propaganda-and-the-media>.


The deadly relationship between government and media

Author Brian Nee thoroughly analyzes the relationship between government and media in America, focusing particularly on its impact on international war and affairs. The media and the government work closely to provide information for the people, but that information is often censored beyond recognition; we never hear the speeches given by leaders in the Middle East, for example. All we hear is paraphrasing and analysis. We are given portraits of good versus evil, “us” versus “them.” This article includes a link to a free PBS documentary that examines the media’s lack of research when reporting a topic and the censorship that is involved in producing an international news report.

Nee, Brian. “The deadly relationship between government and media” The American Whistleblower. 26 September 2007. Web. 19 July 2012. <http://americanwhistleblower.blogspot.mx/2007/09/deadly-relationship-between-politics.html>.


Government Control of the Media: Introduction

This document describes how different relationships between governments and media can form throughout the world, and it shows that political institutions themselves do not determine media freedom. For example, democracy does not guarantee freedom of speech. A country’s specific media-government relationship is determined by the media company’s ownership (if it is publicly or privately owned) and the media’s bias (how closely the media’s reports align with government information). This analysis is more than theoretical. It includes several examples of the various relationships that can exist between media and government.

Gehlbach, Scott and Konstantin Sonin. “Government Control of the Media: Introduction.” University of Wisconsin-Madison and CEIFR. September 2008. Web. 20 July 2012. <http://www.wallis.rochester.edu/wallisseminarseries/GehlbachSoninRochester2.pdf>.

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