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Military News: How Troops Get Internal Information Nathan D. Broshear Scott D. Williams Greg A. Hignite Ken M. Hall, Jr. A Uses and Gratifications Approach.

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Presentation on theme: "Military News: How Troops Get Internal Information Nathan D. Broshear Scott D. Williams Greg A. Hignite Ken M. Hall, Jr. A Uses and Gratifications Approach."— Presentation transcript:

1 Military News: How Troops Get Internal Information Nathan D. Broshear Scott D. Williams Greg A. Hignite Ken M. Hall, Jr. A Uses and Gratifications Approach

2 Lit Review Radio Uses and Gratifications (Lazarsfeld and Stanton, 1945) Media as a tool (Katz et al., 1974) “role” of the audience vs. “rule” of the audience Gratifications sought: Information seeking, entertainment, decisional utility, interpersonal utility, parasocial interaction

3 Hypothesis H1: Gratifications for possible online base newspaper use will be positively related to gratifications for printed base newspaper use. RQ1: What are the gratification dimensions for the commander’s access channel and internal website? General Information Seeking…given that: Commercial newspapers; highest source of information (O’Keefe & Spetnagel, 1973) Online newspapers are “functional alternatives” to print (Eveland et al., 2002)

4 Hypothesis H2a: Online newspapers and base newspapers will have high entertainment gratifications for military members. H2b: Internal websites and the commander’s access channel will have little entertainment gratifications. Entertainment…given that: Military media is not primarily entertainment…but news can serve an escapist function (Vincent & Basil, 1997) Content gratification vs. Process gratification (Stafford & Stafford, 2004)

5 Hypothesis H3a: Online base newspapers will have moderate decisional utility gratifications. H3b: Base newspapers, the commander’s access channel, and internal websites will have no decisional utility gratifications. Decisional Utility…given that: 92% of Internet users: “Internet is a good place to get information” (Fallows, 2004) Information for consideration was one of top desired reasons for use (Stafford et al., 2004)

6 Hypothesis H4a: Base newspapers, online base newspapers, and commander’s access channel will have a moderate amount of interpersonal utility gratifications. H4b: The internal base websites will have no interpersonal utility gratifications. Interpersonal Utility…given that: 85% of Internet users believe Internet is a good place to communicate Besides telephone, Internet offers highest interpersonal gratification (Fallows, 2004) “Interpersonal” messages found in non-interactive media (Stafford & Stafford, 2004)

7 Hypothesis RQ2: How do military personnel use internal communication forms (internal base website, base newspaper, etc.) to meet the dimension of parasocial interaction? Parasocial Interaction…given that: Viewers “identify” and form relationships with on-air talent (Perse & Rubin, 1989) “Sense of belonging” to larger organization? Identify with military writers?

8 Hypothesis RQ3: How does use compare across military and civilian media? RQ4:What demographics or dimensions of uses and gratifications predict attitude toward the paper? Predictors of Communications Use…given that: Air Force studies consistently indicate Airmen would read newspaper if emailed to inbox…but no predictive data (USAF, 2005) Newspaper readership tends to increase with age and year in school…same for military?(Vincent & Basil, 1997)

9 Survey Instrument Advertised to DoD via limited press release, phone calls and email to public affairs officials Press release contained web address for the online survey Survey was posted on SurveyMonkey.com, an unaffiliated civilian online survey service Methods

10 Sampling Population Active duty military assigned to CONUS bases Air Force: 261 Navy: 63 Army: 5 Marine Corps: 3 Total = 332 Officers: 13.3%; E5 and above: 56.6%; E4 and below: 30.1% Male: 259; female: 73 Methods

11 Measurement of Uses and Gratifications Using the Palmgreen, Wenner, Rayborn (1980) scales of uses and gratifications Assessed for base newspapers, base internal websites, Commander’s Access television channel, online base newspaper Dimensions measured by seven-point Likert-type scales, with a zero option for never read/watch, using bi-polar adjectives (does not/does apply, etc.) Methods

12 Dimensions and reliability Uses and Grats ranges represent base newspapers, base internal websites, Commander’s Access TV, and online base newspapers Three questions for each dimension General information seeking (  =.81-.95) Decision utility (  =.76-.93) Entertainment (  =.81-.95) Interpersonal utility (  =.78-.94) Parasocial interaction (  =.87-.96) Methods

13 Exposure and attention civilian and military media Measured how often and how much the communication forms were used as a source of information for military 10-point exposure scale, ranging from “rarely use” to “frequently use” 10-point attention scale, ranging from “no attention” to “close attention” McLeod & McDonald (1985) Chaffee & Schleuder (1986) Methods

14 Exposure and attention to civilian media National television news (CBS, ABC, NBC) Local television news Civilian newspapers News magazines (Time, Newsweek) Radio talk shows (Rush Limbaugh, etc.) Television talk shows Television entertainment talk shows (Letterman, etc.) Television news magazines (60 Minutes, 20/20) Prime time television shows (NCIS, etc.) World Wide Web Methods

15 Exposure and attention to military media Base newspapers Base online newspapers (as applicable) Online military magazines (Airman, etc.) Print military magazines (All Hands, etc.) Base websites Conversations with others Methods

16 Overall attitude about base newspapers Assessed with a seven-point, bi-polar, global attitude measure (Burgoon, Cohen, Miller & Montgomery, 1978) Bi-polar adjectives: unacceptable/acceptable, foolish/wise, unfavorable/favorable, negative/positive, bad/good, wrong/right. Reliability was very good (  =.86). Attitude was positive (mean=5.74, sd=1.47) Methods

17 H1: Gratifications for possible online base newspaper use will be positively related to gratifications for print base newspaper use H1: Was supported A correlation matrix was computed and found all correlations positive in nature and statistically significant (see table 1 in handout) Results

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19 H2a: Predicted base newspapers and online base newspapers would score high on the entertainment gratification H2a: Was not supported

20 H2b: Internal websites and the commander’s access channel will have little entertainment gratifications H2b: Was supported Internal base website M = 2.17 Commander’s access channel M = 1.53 Results Moderate 12354670 N/A Total Strong HighLow WeakNone

21 H3a: Predicted online base newspapers would have high decisional utility H3a: Was not supported Results

22 H3b: Base newspapers, the commander’s access channel, and internal websites will have no decisional utility gratifications H3b: Was partially supported Base newspaperM = 3.21 Internal base websiteM = 2.66 Commander’s access channelM = 1.65 Results Moderate 12354670 N/A Total Strong HighLow WeakNone

23 H4a: Base newspapers, online base newspapers, and commander’s access channel will have a moderate amount of interpersonal utility gratifications H4a: Was partially supported Base newspaperM = 3.27 Online base newspaperM = 2.81 Commander’s access channelM = 1.68 Results Moderate 12354670 N/A Total Strong HighLow WeakNone

24 H4b: The internal base website will have little interpersonal utility gratifications H4b: Was supported Internal base websiteM = 2.55 Results Moderate 12354670 N/A Total Strong HighLow WeakNone

25 RQ1: What are the gratification dimensions for the commander’s access channel and internal website? RQ1: Results for Commander’s access & website Gain information M = 1.87M = 3.06 Interpersonal utility M = 1.68M = 2.55 Decisional utility M = 1.65M = 2.66 Parasocial interaction M = 1.64M = 2.44 Entertainment M = 1.53M = 2.17 Results Moderate 12354670 N/A Total Strong HighLow WeakNone

26 RQ2: How do military personnel use internal communication to satisfy parasocial interaction? RQ2: Results Base newspaperM = 3.13 Online base newspaperM = 2.51 Internal websiteM = 2.25 Commander’s access channelM = 1.64 Results Moderate 12354670 N/A Total Strong HighLow WeakNone

27 RQ3: Sought to explain what communication forms active duty military personnel are utilizing Descriptive statistics were used to examine the pattern of means (see table 2 handout) Results

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29 RQ4: Examined what would predict attitude and use of the base newspaper Results were computed with a hierarchical regression analysis was conducted to prove this question (see table 3 handout) Results

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31 Discussion Purpose of military internal communications Huge amount of time and effort spent on internal comm forms Fewer members in uniform, tighter budgets, and GWOT make

32 Discussion

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34 Generalizability –Convenience sample –More representative of entire DoD –True Random or Quota Sampling Timing –Survey only open six days –Needed more announcement Scale –The “Conundrum”…So what does it all mean? Limitations

35 Discussion Military internal communications are not gratifying troops’ needs Exposure is not enough Gratifications sought are largely for civilian media It’s up to us to figure out how to make our internal communication more gratifying to troops

36 Discussion Exposure to media Need for an efficacy study “Pushed” media…right to their inbox Dimensional gratification for civilian media FIGHT……………AND WIN! Future Directions

37 Please hold your questions.


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