Representation of war in media

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Going to war is not simply deploying soldiers and launching missiles to the perceived enemy. It is also about "rallying the masses around the public" or making sure that the public supports the war effort. This is where the Media, particularly that on screen, play a crucial role in portraying conflicts.


The media is said to assume a dichotomous coverage of the war where the conflicting sides are portrayed either as good/evil, innocent/guilty, heroic/despotic, united/fragmented and other descriptions that tends to put one side on the positive light and assassinate the character of the other. (Martin, 1993)
This paper seeks to analyze the film Jarhead with regards to the way it represents war. I will be laying out the relevant concepts by providing a historical context thru the use of two other films namely Platoon and the Green Berets. I will then proceed into a contextual analysis of the Jarhead film and illustrate its significance thru the application of the audience theory. It is hoped that this paper could show how the media can affect the psyche of the audience with regards to war and conflict.
According to Martin and Pedro (2006), author of the book Rethinking Global Security: Media, Popular Culture, and the War on Terror, the utilization of the media for the war effort has been one of the focus of PSYOPS which is an integral part of modern military affairs. This can come in the form of using printed leaflets, radio and television broadcast and even internet press release all of which try to persuade enemy combatants to surrender peacefully and avoid further harm. ...
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