Politics and PR

Complete governmental control of information? Retelling of truths into fabrications? Threats of an atomic war?

No, these themes are not coming from George Orwell's classic novel, 1984. Rather these themes are taken from the war documentary, War Spin. The documentary aims to expose the untruths told by certain governing bodies (mainly the US and UK) and uncover different propaganda messages that were used during this time of war and hardship for both countries. The documentary opens by showing the rescue, of Jessica Lynch, a 20 year old soldier, who had been taken as a prisoner of war. The rescue was cleverly filmed and excerpts of the film were immediately released all over the world, in turn sparking support of the war.

What the world would not be privy to, until months later, is the uncut footage of the rescue. The BBC aired War Spin, months after the rescue and further claimed the usage of War propaganda, by both the US and UK governments in order to win over public opinion and support the war which we are still involved with today. So how did these governments (mainly the US) successfully shape public opinion? They brilliantly employed Public Relations tactics..

Basic PR tactics such as, controlling the message and providing journalists with an inside scoop. In order to be successful in these two arenas, the governments set up a communications center, simply entitled Central Command or CentCom. This center, would be open to journalist from all over the world to go and get information as it was available straight from the government. The government took this opportunity to control the message they were giving to the journalist and would therefore be in complete control of the public opinion of the war. A few journalists were even given the opportunity to get an 'inside look' at the everyday operations of soldiers. This is another way the government was able to employ public relations tactics during the war. By offering journalists exclusive opportunities and showing the public what they were being privy to the government was able to control the message and this in turn turned out to be a great public relations move, because for a short while public opinion was in favor of the war.

While the issue of ethics behind the war are not what are being discussed here, it is reasonable to say that the tactics that were used by the differing governments during the time of war were used very effectively and hopefully throuhg this blog were examined more closely.

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