How important are the media in shaping public perceptions of security?

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How important are the media in shaping public perceptions of security? The media is a term used to describe forms of communication that convey information through mediums such as, television, newspaper, or internet. As we are unable to be everywhere at once we need the media to keep us informed about events happening worldwide. This essay will talk about the media and how it can create dramatic news from any situation. It will look at controls the media may have imposed upon them, and will also discuss whether the media can challenge government decisions. Moreover it will examine evidence from the public about whether the media can shape public perceptions. The Media seldom supply impartial information; their discourses are molded to fit world-views or the interests of those creating the media. Their work is not fictional but carefully selected to create different ‘realities’. (Banks, 2008) Terrorists use the media, as publicity is central to furthering their objectives, and governments use the media to ensure favorable coverage of their actions regarding the ‘war on terror’. (Nacos, 2007) Some believe that extremely selective and biased (pro-US) reporting helped justify post-9/11 actions, and that Bush used the war to boost his waning popularity and to promote success and legitimacy of post-9/11 military actions. The US media were involved in various attempts to contradict negativity, such as the rescue of US Army Private Lynch, which was staged to ensure maximum, positive coverage. This highlights the importance that is placed on image victory. (Kellner, 2004) Embedded reporters are used by governments to report positive accounts. Wedgewood-Jones states the embed system has great advantages; journalists see things first-hand and the military have some control over what is broadcast. However, embedded reporters may develop friendships with military

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