Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
The media is a very powerful tool and can be both a positive and a negative reflection of any subject they aim their eyes at. It all depends on how the media wants to portray them. They have been known to help criminals rise to great heights and to tear down the innocent as well as exposing dark secrets to the public's light. When it comes to United Nations, I think the media has played a very negative role as it does with any dramatic event.
Since the end of World War II, war has been more present in the lives of every day Americans and others around the world as the media’s technology has allowed them to make the wars and events more real and more in the face of the world. Instead of letting the United Nations relate the actions/results of an operation. The media is the one showing what occurred, even if it is not entirely the full story. When it came to Somalia, the pictures of the American soldiers’ bodies being dragged through the streets showed the UN operation as a failure and encouraged Americans to demand the US to pull out of the operation. The pictures the media released were the ones the world thought of and still do when the conflict is mentioned. Many interviews stated the objections of many world players and how the operation was wrong. (1)
It comes down to the fact that I think the media could help the UN be seen in a positive light, but overall they are portraying it in a negative. Every mistake the UN makes is there for the world to see. Every hiccup in an operation is revealed. The successes are downplayed in the media as it does not generate as much attention. The negative sells. The negative is the drama and the things everyone wants to talk about. Since the UN is such a big organization that spans the world, it will always be the subject of speculation, envy, and hate.
The conclusion is that the media portrays the UN in a negative light and does a good job of it.
(1) SomaliArchive, “#1 – World News – CNN Report from Somalia | 1993,” Youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyNW-ane-74.