News reports were the best way for the American public to access the Vietnam War. Television stations were turning out casualty reports and progress reports to allow the public to see the war in cold hard numbers. Television anchors would read these reports on the nightly news to Americans at home, revealing the grim realities of the war on the ground.
News reports like these were a common trend because, like the government itself, casualty reports were all the media had to go on when it came to determining the success of American troops and American efforts in Vietnam initially. These casualty numbers were inflated by the lack of distinguishing factors among American soldiers. If they were dead, they were Viet Cong, and were reported as such. Once telvision began to make a bigger impact on American society, crews were dispatched directly to Vietnam to reveal the truth about the situation there. However, numbers and hard stats still came from the government, so these reports continued to be a huge part of American information when it came to Vietnam.
These statistics showed Americans that people were dying in large numbers. Not just the enemy, but Americans as well. These losses might have seemed insignificant to policymakers, but they clearly were not for the civilians at home.