Every year, the U.S. Department of Defense spends millions of dollars and countless man-hours to inform military service members through internal Public Affairs products (e.g. newspapers, magazines, newsletters, broadcasts and Internet Web sites). The primary goal of these information sources is to augment or provide information to service members concerning overall policy issues affecting the particular branch of service, local command or installation policies and issues, and services available to audience members by virtue of their military service. All of these resources and efforts are predicated on the notion that a well-informed audience has higher morale (greater job-satisfaction) and is more capable of performing their war-time and peace-time missions.
Of paramount concern for the U.S. military is the importance of understanding whether internal information sources reach the audience for which they are intended. This keeps the branches constantly evaluating the effectiveness of their expenditures. Also, understanding how credible this information is perceived by the audience members who consume these media products, and how this affects audience member satisfaction, and whether this impacts retention, is vital to determine whether these expenditures are worth the resources spent producing them. This study attempts to answer some of these questions in a scientific manner. This study employs Uses and Gratifications theory and dual-processing theories to posit predictions about which communication forms or venues Air Force members choose, how Air Force members process the information they consume, and how credible they deem these communication forms.
Capstone Team 03D2