chapter  3
Illusions of reality: the media and the reporting of warfare
Pages 46

Wars, one might think, would not normally fall into this category. This is because, even by their simplest definition in international law as armed conflicts between two or more states or factions, they appear to be precisely the type of event upon which the media thrive. After all, wars involve the deployment of troops and weapons in a manner which makes for exciting copy and pictures (the more high-tech the better); they produce a stream of human interest stories of tragedy and heroism; they provoke heightened emotions such as patriotism, fear, anger and euphoria; and they involve winners and losers. When a nation is at war, newspaper sales increase, television and radio news programme ratings go up, while extremes of popular and media support or opposition reach new heights of intensity and polarisation.