Seal of the Department of Defense Abstract

Introduction You are here Problem Statement Literature Review Rationale and Hypotheses Methodology Projected Results Discussion Reference List

The purpose of this study was to develop a method to determine the media source (i.e., movies, television, radio, Internet, newspapers and magazines) that provides the military with the most positive coverage and which can be used by military public affairs specialists to better publicize the armed forces. This study looked at two theories that can be applied to how military public affairs professionals can create a positive public perception of the military. The two theories, agenda-setting and cultivation, were combined to develop the positive perception vital for support for continued military operations overseas. The researchers hypothesized that media outlets influence public perception of the military, television provides the best outlet for public affairs practitioners to get the most positive coverage of the U.S. armed forces, and the media set the agenda for what the American people think about, and public affairs specialists can utilize media agendas to cultivate a more positive perception of the military. The results of the test survey showed no correlations between media and public perception of the military. However, the survey proved that television was the medium most used by respondents for obtaining information about the military and in deciding which issues were most important. Results were inconclusive as to how public affairs professionals can utilize media-set agendas to cultivate a more positive perception of the military.