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The News Media’s Coverage of the Vietnam War, by Henry A. Rhodes

Guide Entry to 83.04.03:

In this unit I have attempted to give a brief account of the highlights of the Vietnam War in hopes of giving students and teachers a concise appraisal of what happened in Vietnam. The highlights I chose to concentrate on, are as follows: 1) French intervention in Vietnam, (2) 1954 Geneva Accords, (3) U.S. intervention (included in this section is the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and My Lai Massacre),(4) Tet Offensive, (5) Johnson’s Escalation, (6) Nixon’s Christmas Bombing (7) Anti-War Demonstrations.

Each highlight is followed by a series of articles from the “Chicago Tribune,” the “New York Times,” and the “New Haven Register” with which students can determine the adequacy of the press coverage of the Vietnam War.

This unit was developed for a high school/middle school American History class. It is intended to be taught in a 3-4 week time frame. The major objectives that I hope to accomplish with this unit:

1. To provide students with a brief synopsis of several major events of the Vietnam War. 2. For students to examine the adequacy of the press’ coverage of the Vietnam War. 3. To make students look more critically at the media’s coverage of current U.S. foreign policy.

(Recommended for Grades 7 through 12 American History)

Key Words

Journalism History American Sixties Vietnam Wars

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