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By law television news must treat controversial subjects with due accuracy and impartiality According to recent surveys the majority of the population regard the television as their most trusted source of information which makes it even more important that television remains impartial There is ongoing controversy about the nature of television broadcasting and whether it is unbiased or falls victim to propaganda In this essay I hope to discover which side has the stronger argument Propaganda is the conscious manipulation of information in order to gain political advantage Chomsky and Herman believe that the American news media function as propaganda agencies of what they call the national security state NSS They say that ownership advertising dependence on official sources flak propaganda campaigns intimidation and use of the law and anti-communism serve to twist the facts in order to be conveyed in the interests of those in power Historically propaganda has been most obvious during times of war or national crisis when the government feels the need to control the media in order to get national unity This normally results in alternative views not being shown on television as often if at all This kind of control over news coverage was started after American support for the Vietnam War in the late 1960s was eroded by the medias close scrutiny and questioning of American aims and methods contributing towards the countrys eventual withdrawal from Vietnam Two main examples of this are the Falklands war of 1982 and the Gulf war of 1991 The government exerted strict control over how the wars were reported The reasoning at the time was that this was for military security but it has been argued that the aim was to ensure that public support was not undermined by information in particular pictures revealing the less attractive aspects of the wars like military and civilian casualties However there was some backlash to the propaganda Channel 4 broadcast The Gulf Between Us
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