The Construction of Reality in a Globalized Environment:The Mass Media and the War in Iraq
Chomskyan Studies 2, 2, 25-46
12 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2012 Last revised: 15 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2007
Noam Chomsky's views regarding news propaganda and the media are applied to the journalistic coverage of the second war in Iraq during the period 2003-2004. The American news media provided mostly positive coverage of the decisions of the military forces of their country, while making an effort to reduce the importance of civilian deaths and destruction in Iraq. Media outside the U.S. held a reserved stance, criticizing the American government and highlighting its mistakes. In the Arabic Peninsula, the media were outspoken against the war, sometimes positioned at the opposite extreme, promoting casualties and atrocities that provoked feelings of "shock and awe". Newscasts observers note three different versions of reality, depending on the national identity of the news editor as well as the social and economic conditions in which editorial decisions were made. The examination of the journalistic coverage of the war in Iraq supports Chomsky's views on the role of the media in contemporary democracies.
Keywords: mass media, war, Iraq, Chomsky, American, democracy, Arab, Arabic, democracies, journalist, TV, television, government, military, CNN, dead, Al Jazeera, U.S.A., USA, U.S., NBC, ABC, ZDF, RTL, war on terror, BBC, Al Quaeda
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