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04C Capstone Project: Media Perceptions of Military PA
This paper investigates the levels of trust and credibility that civilian journalists perceive about military public affairs practitioners in relation to how much contact various journalists have with the military. This paper also examines the overall knowledge that journalists have of the job of military public affairs practitioners. Based on a literature review of previous studies and 49 collective years of public military affairs service, the researchers posited that the relationships public relations practitioners have with journalists closely resemble those of military public affairs practitioners and journalists. Researchers employed organizational culture, expectancy violation, social penetration and coorientation theory as the logical basis for hypotheses.
To assess predictions, researchers conducted a random survey of different media news organizations that were geographically separated from, and geographically near, major military installations. Multiple regression results revealed that journalists' contact with military public affairs predicted greater perceptions of character in military public affairs practitioners. Qualitative results suggested that character is the most important point of contention as practicing journalists view the military public affairs function.