This study explored the audience motives and uses of military public affairs products: online news, base newspapers, internal websites, and the internal base television channels (referred to as “commander’s access channel”).
The study also examined the desirability of delivering base newspapers online and collected data on attention and use of non-military media. A sample of 332 respondents from all branches of the military answered questions on internal news sources using the Palmgreen scales of uses and gratifications measures.
Findings indicated Air Force enlisted members (which made up the vast majority of respondents) had similar gratifications sought for online base newspapers and printed base newspapers, while the primary gratification sought for internal websites and the commander’s access channel was to “gain information.”
Surprisingly, base newspapers scored high in the parasocial interaction dimension as compared to other forms of internal military communication. Similar to previous studies, general information seeking was found to be a strong predictor of online newspapers, local television news, military magazines, primetime television, and radio talk show usage. Contrary to prior research, younger military members sought printed base newspapers more readily than older military members.