The media should show war in all its gore and glory as it really happens. This can be accomplished through many forms of media, such as movies, photography, and articles. However, not all of the public wants this unfiltered exposure to war. The media has an obligation to present war as it really is while still providing measures to enable individuals and communities to choose whether to be exposed to objectionable materials.
“Saving Private Ryan” is an American epic war film that takes place during the Normandy invasion of World War II. It was filmed in 1998 and was given a R rating because it contains many war-filled scenes that expose the gruesome truth of war. Within the first forty minutes of the movie you see hundreds of soldiers arriving in ships to invade Normandy. A large number of those soldiers were shot and killed by opposing forces before they ever even made it to the shore. The explosions and gun shots were audibly and visually real that it appeared the soldiers had no chance of escaping the massacre that enclosed on them as they made their way through the waves onto the beach. The waves of the ocean were no longer blue; they were an awful blood stained color that cast around the lifeless bodies on the shore with ease. Could hundreds of soldiers, just in this one mission, really have been slaughtered by the enemy? Yes. “Saving Private Ryan” is the perfect example of how the media can expose the struggles soldiers experience while fighting for the freedom of their country.
Another poignant way the media portrays war is through photography. James Nachtwey is a photographer who exposes the horrid truth of war through his un-filtered photography. These photos are filled with the intense sadness and shocking devastation communities endure as a result of war all over the world. The human rights violations that can be seen in Mr. Nachtwey’s photos leave viewers appaled. The pictures he capture open the eyes of millions and give them the most honest, true news reports of what is really happening overseas and even in the United States. He talks about his photos and his experiences in a TED video at “James Nachtwey: My photographs bear witness, http://www.ted.com/talks/james_nachtwey_s_searing_pictures_of_war.html”. Mr. Nachtwey feels that photographs are much more powerful than the words of government officials because they have the power to fuel and guide many movements towards peace. He believes “that a picture that revealed the true face of war would almost by definition be an anti-war photograph.” Photographs are one of the few ways media can honestly show the world what is happening at war because it is hard evidence that clearly demonstrates the brutality of war.
“The Consequences of War: A Veteran’s Story”, is an article written by Glenna Tinney in 2012 that portrays the struggles soldiers face after returning home and the effects post-traumatic stress disorder can have on the soldier’s family. This article is about a girl who, when she was younger, did not understand what her father was going through as a retired soldier. However, as she grew up, she began to truly understand the severity of his invisible scars. She says, “I understand now that he had undiagnosed and untreated combat-related, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression that he self-medicated with alcohol.” Sadly, this was not limited to her father. Many soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression after returning home from war. Often, they believe that alcohol or other drugs are the only solution. Ms. Tinney’s father is just one example of how war can change a soldier and affect every aspect of his/her…