et al. (1997) studied the motivations for general television viewing behavior
utilizing the uses and gratification theory. Lin (1992) and other
researchers have utilized UGT to determine what motivates viewers to watch
specific newscasts. The authors believe a research opportunity exists
in determining if the UGT research done by others can be generalized to
the global service newscasts and the military internal audience.
Because research has not been conducted to determine why internal audiences watch the global service newscasts, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are missing an opportunity to provide programming that will meet individual viewer's needs. The authors believe that newscasts designed for news and information goal-oriented viewers should differ from a program designed for ritualized/habitual viewers. While newscast producers know who they are targeting, they should also understand why individual viewers watch the global service newscasts so that they can present the message more effectively.
RQ 1: Why do individual viewers of the internal audience choose to watch the Department of Defense global newscasts?
The authors believe there
are significant differences in the circumstances surrounding the internal
audience in stateside and overseas locations. Overseas audiences
are isolated from the United States; in most cases, the military community
members make up the only English-speaking subculture in the area.
They shop in military stores, send their children to military schools,
and in most cases, watch military television channels as the only source
of English-language programming. The authors feel this creates a
dependency on the military infrastructure.
Conversely, stateside audiences are just as likely to live in the surrounding communities as they are on base. They are encouraged to become part of and participate in the civilian communities. There is easy access to civilian stores and schools, and a multitude of non-military television channels from which to choose. The authors believe that this results in less dependency on the military infrastructure. With less dependency, there may be different motivations for viewing the global service newscasts.
RQ 2: What are the differences in uses and gratification needs
between overseas and stateside audiences?