Category Archives: Tuesday 4.11.14 – the Cold War, McCarthyism and the press

SEMINAR REFLECTION – MCCARTHYISM AND THE US PRESS

In this week’s seminar we covered the topic of McCarthyism during the Cold War and discussed the way the US press behaved during this period. The Cold War was a period in which two of the biggest and most powerful nations the USA and the Soviet Union clashed, right after World War Two. The public were concerned about the growth in the number of weapons of mass destruction. This was a clash of very different ideologies: capitalism vs. communism. Throughout this period, television had developed to become a very powerful platform. Simultaneously, president Harry Truman had introduced the idea of investigating government employees who looked to be working for any department of the federal government. An anti communist campaign was launched, which was a practice that refused to hire anyone who was thought to have communist affiliations. Joseph McCarthy became a well-known face in the times of the Cold War by making claims that there were Soviet spies inside the S governments. He utilised the power of the press by accusing government workers of various scandals. Furthermore, it was a period in which straight reporting was the way to relay information to the audience. We discussed that during that era, reportages were not given context and was real straight face reporting of facts. It was fact reporting, and nothing more than facts: it was the reporter, a microphone and a camera. This was a period where simply relaying information to the audience without using any graphics and effects was more valuable than the extravaganza we experience nowadays when watching news bulletins.