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America's attention focused in an intense way on the Gulf War, as briefings and bombings filled the airwaves, pictures and stories filled the print media of the world. The nation was hooked on a primetime live special who's action, by its nature, seemed the complete truth.
But did the American people receive the information they deserved and which a free press should guarantee? Would media demands for less control have jeopardized lives and compromised battle action? In The Media and the Gulf War those questions are dealt with by experts on all sides of the issue- members of the media, the military, and the government.
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These two books examine how the media covered the Persian Gulf war. The Media and the Gulf War , edited by noted journalist Smith, includes Senate hearings, lawsuit briefs, and articles from the New York Times , Washington Post , Columbia Journalism Review , and other sources. There is strong criticism of the media's performance (particularly of CNN), and of the Pentagon ground rules and "pool" system. Triumph of the Image , a collection of essays by journalists and academics, is chiefly valuable for its international perspective, discussing Gulf War coverage in the Middle East, Asia, Western Europe, and elsewhere. Its thesis is that the media, guided by the military, created the image of a victory not achieved on the battlefield. The tone is antiwar and often anti-American. While these books differ in their scope and focus, both deal with censorship and propaganda issues, expanding upon themes covered by John R. MacArthur's Second Front ( LJ 5/15/92). Both are are well written and persuasive, although they can be repetitious. Recommended for specialized media collections.
- Bruce Rosenstein, "USA Today" Lib., Arlington, Va.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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