Just as the film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) changed the ways that many people looked at warfare, so the presence of warfare in televised media of various types has once again changed public perceptions.
Just as the film All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) changed the ways that many people looked at warfare, so the presence of warfare in televised media of various types has once again changed public perceptions. Sometimes television programs can change the ways that the public perceives war, and sometimes they can impact how policy makers conduct war. No matter how one regards the relationship of television and warfare, however, the way that television portrays war–whether in news coverage, documentaries, or dramatic fiction–can have an effect on how war is thought about in the abstract, how it is conducted, and how it is remembered.
Although war coverage on television goes back to its roots in the late 1940’s, it was in the 1960’s when television first began to have a significant impact. In January, 1968, although the war in
Although, as a battle, the
By the mid-1960’s, when the American involvement in the
Nonetheless, given the protracted nature of the Vietnam conflict, it eventually became a challenge to show or say anything new about it. Because the news reports were still recorded on film that had to be sent to processing centers, it was also difficult to protect a “scoop.” In the mid-1970’s, the development of videotape and then the rapid expansion and refinement of satellite transmission would have had a dramatic effect on the coverage of the invasions of Grenada and Panama–but those military operations were so focused, suddenly launched, and quickly concluded that the new technologies had relatively little impact on the coverage of the conflicts.
By the time of the war in
Recognizing that all of these developments meant that it could not control coverage of these more geographically dispersed and prolonged conflicts as it had controlled coverage of the first Gulf War, the military developed the strategy of
Some of the
The two major documentary series about World War I have been
The major documentary about the Korean War has been
War-related documentaries have largely focused on twentieth and twenty-first century conflicts because there is no archival footage from earlier conflicts on which the filmmakers can draw. Most recently lauded for his documentary series on the World War II, titled simply
The two most successful television miniseries have both treated World War II. In the 1970’s,
Other notable miniseries treating wars have included Julius Caesar (2002), treating the conflicts that marked Rome’s transformation from a Republic to an Empire; Masada (1981), depicting the desperate climax of Jewish resistance to Roman rule in 73
Anderson, Robin. A Century of Media, a Century of War. New York: Peter Lang, 2006. Looks at how modern media have turned war into entertainment, in motion pictures, on television screens, and in video games. Bullert, B. J. Public Television: Politics and Battle over Documentary Film. Trenton, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997. Examines how PBS has carefully shaped the documentaries that it airs, sometimes stifling the freedom of expression and diverse voices that are a part of its mandate. DeVito, John, and Frank Tropea. Epic Television Miniseries: A Critical History. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2009. Looks the historical development of television miniseries, covering the two-series set that established the standard for war television, Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Hoskins, Andrew. Televising War: From Vietnam to Iraq. London: Continuum, 2004. From a critical perspective, looks at the ways that the television media have taken advantage of war, sometimes hyping conflict in the name of ratings. Kilborn, Richard, and John Izod. Confronting Reality: An Introduction to the Television Documentary. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 1997. Investigates the role of the institutions that produce documentaries in shaping how audiences interpret the images they see, some of the most vivid of which have to do with war. Mermin, Jonathan. Debating War and Peace: Media Coverage of U.S. Intervention in the Post-Vietnam Era. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999. Uses a case-study format to argue that television coverage of warfare affects not only individual opinions of war but also foreign policy agendas. Rueven, Frank. “TV in a Time of War.” New Leader, November/December, 2001, 47-49. This article examines how television, in terms of both news coverage and dramatic series, has shaped views on the War on Terrorism. Thrall, A. Trevor. War in the Media Age. Creskill, N.J.: Hampton, 2000. Investigates the press strategy of the American government from the Vietnam War to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, drawing attention to the increasing importance of the press in the war over political opinion. Thussu, Daya Kishan, and Des Freedman, eds. War and the Media: Reporting Conflict 24/7. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2003. Looks at the historical and contemporary relationships between the media and the military and how the reporter’s role has changed along with the changing definitions of war and terrorism.
Art and Warfare
Commemoration of War
Film and Warfare
Ideology and War
Literature and Warfare
Music and Warfare
Religion and Warfare