is broadcast on nearly 400 military and civilian stations stateside (Army
Broadcasting Service, 2000). Air Force Television News broadcasts
on 700 stateside cable outlets, and sends out 3,000 videotapes worldwide
(Air Force News Agency, 2000). Navy/Marine Corps News is distributed
to 320 cable and television stations stateside (Naval Media Center, 2000).
All three newscasts are sent by satellite to overseas installations and
ships at sea for airing on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service's
military television channels, the American Forces Network (AFN) and Direct
to Sailor (DTS).
During a time of tightening military assets, services continue to devote considerable resources to produce these newscasts, without a clear understanding of what drives the audience to watch. For example, the Navy/Marine Corps News has an annual budget of $2.5 million (Naval Media Center, 2000). This figure does not include the training costs of the staff, both military and civilian.
The authors do not dispute the importance of these newscasts to provide valuable command information. However, it is essential for producers to understand why people watch in order to effectively target messages to them. It is also important to understand the differences between viewing motivations between overseas and stateside audiences. This study attempts to answer both questions, so the global service newscasts can maximize resources and more effectively reach the internal audience.