"Embedded" reporters sending jumpy images via videophones. Executions of hostages posted on the Web. Bloggers on the battlefield. Al-Jazeera on the desktops and TV screens of U.S audiences.

If the War in Vietnam was the first "television war," then the war in Iraq is the first American war of the global Internet Age. Technological advances, economic developments, political transformations, and other changes of the day are evident in the way war news is gathered, transmitted, received, and interpreted.

The news media have become part of the story, as evidenced by the many books, articles, documentaries, and reports chronicling, analyzing, and criticizing the coverage of the war.

The media's role in American military conflicts - and controversy about it - isn't new, of course. As early as the war for American independence, George Washington both relied on newspapers for information and worried about how much they revealed. "It is much to be wished," he fretted, "that our Printers were more discreet in many of their Publications."1

The exhibit on display in the lobby of O'Neill Library draws on the print and electronic collections of the O'Neill Library to look at the changing role of news media in wartime, from revolutionary times to the present, and their impact on how Americans have perceived, conducted, argued about, and remembered their wars.

This online companion to the exhibit features links to videos, online articles, Web sites, and other sources not included in the O'Neill Library display. Some of the sources, as noted, are accessible to the BC community only.

1 - Humphrey, C. S. (1992) "This popular engine": New England newspapers during the American Revolution, 1775-1789. (p. 100). Newark : University of Delaware Press ; London : Associated University Presses


Updated: May 17, 2005
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© 2005 The Trustees of Boston College.