(Original post by Speciez99)
but is the media free? the newspapers are owned by the rich with set political agendas, and i doubt they do, my qualms with america come from watching things like children running from villages in vietnam covered in agent orange which is burning their skin.
You just brilliantly illustrated how free the US media really is!
The Vietnam War was probably the first war in history where the media (particularly television) had full access to the action. The US government gave them an unbelievable amount of freedom: Reporters could embed themselves with US soldiers, they could film everything they wanted to, the government even provided helicopters for the!
The result was that pictures and video footage of the realities of war reached American living-rooms. The media used their freedoms to give a very real account of the horrors of war.
This was probably the single most important reason why the US government lost at the "home-front" (i.e. it lost public support for the war). As a result of that, the US eventually decided to not send even more troops to Vietnam. With hindsight, this caused their defeat. Had they sent more people in, had they fought with full commitment, they would probably have won. Indeed, the "Tet offensive" was a poker move by the Vietcong. They sent in all they had. Had the US fought more decisively, had they managed to respond properly to the "Tet offensive", Ho-Chi-Minh would have had nothing left to fight.
The Vietnam war was a public-relations disaster. The US had made the mistake to believe that truthful reporting of a war cannot have a decisive effect on the home-front.
They learned from their mistakes and never again took such a liberal stance towards war-time journalism. You only have to look at the second Gulf-War: Access to battle-scenes was very restricted for journalists. Everything they broadcasted from Iraq was subject to censorship.
The story about Vietnam shows that American instincts tend to promote freedom of speech and specifically of the media. Having not had any significant experience with free modern-day media coverage of war, they decided a priori
to go for a liberal stance.
It turned out to have practical disadvantages, that's why they don't apply it in wars anymore.
Yet, it goes to show, that fundamentally, Americans value freedom of speech greatly.
The very fact that you saw those pictures of children suffering in Vietnam proves that the US media is free. Those "large corporations" certainly did not have any interest in showing the suffering of war.
BTW, you're probably referring to the famous picture of the little girl running away from her village after it was bombed. It is the most famous image of the Vietnam War. The girl was not covered with Agent Orange, but with napalm.