What if D-Day happened in today's 24-hour news cycle? - WBAY

What if D-Day happened in today's 24-hour news cycle?

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The scope of the Normandy invasion and the loss of American lives unfolded slowly back home 70 years ago. Wartime media coverage has evolved  with 24-hour news and social media.

Veterans of past wars say it's simply hard to fathom.

"It's hard for me to imagine what D-Day would be like if it was happening today... We'd all be watching it," Bob Spivey, a veteran of the Korean War era, said.

"The public would know everything that's happening right at the instant it's happening, not like years ago; they didn't find out until days after an operation," Vietnam veteran Dan Hartman said.

Seventy years ago, newspapers and radio offered the only daily updates on our country's military actions, and even then certain details weren't reported immediately and it could be days or weeks before anyone saw photographs or film footage.

By the time the Vietnam War unfolded in the 1960's, television was in the mix.
    
"That was the time when it was graphic. It was every night on the news," Hartman recalled.

Starting with the Gulf War in 1991, American battles suddenly became live television thanks to the use of satellites.

Opinions differ on whether the impact of this now-standard, instant access is a good thing or not.

"I always thought it was a plus that the world knows about things as they happened and could react to them as they happened," Spivey said.

Brown County historian Mary Jan Herber opined, "I think seeing it all live has made us more callous, because we're used to seeing things happen that are terrible things, because it's always live."  
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