Change in U.S. Television News Throughout the Cold War


  • Alyssa Allen


During the Cold War, news media in the United States regularly covered and reported the unfolding conflict between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. along with the many “hot wars” during this time period that pitted Capitalism vs. Communism. During this time, Americans would see news of the American-Soviet conflict in many forms, from print and radio to eventually film and television. By the end of the Cold War, television would become the new medium to surpass written documents in America; it was more meaningful and more powerful than any other previous forms of media. The rise of television had a codependent relationship with the Cold War; as the war intensified, so too did the use of television and film to portray the incidents within it. After WWII, television grew as a form of media available to the masses. By 1959, the television had become the central home appliance, with nine out of ten households owning one. Within the first five years of regular network reporting, Americans learned about the many events of the beginning of the Cold War through their television sets in between commercials for the many consumer goods pushed their way.