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War 2.0: perception of war by a media saturated society 569
Меркулов А., Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет экономики и финансов, Санкт-Петербург, Россия
Electronic mass media changed the way we perceive world events including mili¬tary conflicts. In the 60–70¬s television conveyed the horrors of Vietnam war to an ordinary American living¬room. Army was quick to learn a lesson so, for the time being, military conflicts began to be or¬chestrated as a television show where good defeats evil in a bloodless fight. The advent of the age of Web 2.0 and diffusion of digital technologies have made it impossible to control media coverage.
Since Vietnam War Public Relations have directly influenced military outcomes and whatever soldiers have done, their commanders should take into consideration the way army’s actions will be reflected on television or computer screens.
Until quite recently media coverage was an accelerated, instantaneous information flow of TV images delivered by a few large companies. It used to be a oneway street, where the audiences were left with few opportunities to find either an alternative point of view or an independent comment. After learning Vietnam’s lessons American military have understood the importance of controlling the media coverage. Taking into account the overwhelming US fire power, it was relatively easy to turn any war into a kind of television show where real violence and suffering were thoroughly overwritten by the electronic narrative.
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