War and the Media: Propaganda and Persuasion in the Gulf War

Philip M. Taylor, Author Manchester University Press $0 (338p) ISBN 978-0-7190-3753-5
This book by a British communications specialist emphasizes the British media more than they deserve, given America's predominant role in the war. Relying mainly on secondary sources rather than on interviews with media and military representatives, Taylor dryly documents how the Gulf war was more hidden than revealed by the media. He analyzes allied media management, including the pool system for reporters, and Saddam Hussein's failure to exploit the presence of the media. Taylor offers numerous examples of media mistakes, including the erroneous representation of oil-drenched birds as victims of the Iraqi oil spill and journalists' inability to translate military jargon about bombing sorties. Perhaps most useful are case studies of controversial instances of coverage, including the Iraqi takeover of a Saudi town and the bombing of Iraqi civilians at what might have been a bunker. This book leaves numerous holes, little exploring, for instance, why so few pictures of Iraqi casualties were shown in the West. Taylor's conclusions about the unanimity of news coverage and the debate over the right to know versus the need to know simply reprise often-stated criticisms. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-7190-5550-8
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-7190-3754-2
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