LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Identify and
analyze the various types of media and
recognize the media relations responsibilities
of the public affairs office staff.
The Navy is a definite source of news. Some of this
news will be good and some bad. Good or bad the rules
established for good media relations dictate that all
Navy news be treated objectively.
Media will publish or broadcast, and the public will
learn about newsworthy events and other information
concerning the Navy, whether or not the Navy
cooperates. Furthermore, media will decide the interests
and newsworthiness of Navy news not the naval
commander or the PAO.
Before we examine the elements that help create
good media relations, it is beneficial for you to examine
and understand all available media. In doing so, you
must determine the requirements of each medium and
then fulffll these requirements, using the guidelines
mentioned later in this section.
At a minimum, your public affairs office should
serve the following media and be familiar with their
. News services
l News magazines
l Consumer magazines
l Internal or promotional publications
The newspaper is the oldest medium of mass
communication and it remains the backbone of public
information. While the number of newspapers
published in America has declined with the ascendancy
of television, total circulation is increasing.
There are differences between the metropolitan
daily, the suburban or neighborhood daily and the
weekly newspaper. Whereas, a metropolitan daily
focuses on international, national and top-level local
news and features, a suburban daily (or weekly) may
limit itself to local and regional news with only brief
summaries of national and international news. Suburban
newspapers have grown in popularity recently, because
of their comprehensive coverage of local news.
Radio became a medium of mass communication in
the 1930s. Its advantages are immediacy, variety,
mobility and aural appeal. Because of the recent
resurrection of the AM news/talk format, the radio
listening audience may include nearly every individual
in the country.
Radio is conversational, informal, intimate and
timely. It has an almost instantaneous reaction time to
fast-breaking news, but it is limited to headlines and
Television is the newest and most potent of mass
communications media. It combines the impact of sight
and sound with the immediacy of radio. Communication
satellites and roving news teams can relay live telecasts
from almost anywhere in the world or even outer space.
Television news programs are network (60 Minutes,
20/20, etc.) or local in origin. Most local stations do live
coverage and welcome the opportunity to consider
videotapes of significant military news or feature
events, including sports.
In many areas, television stations are owned by or
closely allied with newspapers. Most use both The
Associated Press and United Press International news
News services, often called wire services, exist to
provide the mass media with coverage they cannot
afford to get by any other means.
Currently, there are two predominant wire services
in the United States: The Associated Press and the
United Press International. You should be aware that
there are also several foreign wire services, such as