This article asks the question of what veterans and the public think about military news coverage, including how veterans are covered in news reporting.
The news media often portray military veterans in stereotypical ways, providing audiences narrow representations in which veterans are traumatized heroes. What happens when a veteran sees these storylines and assumes they affect how the public thinks about veterans? This question informs this study, which used a two-prong approach (online, telephone) to survey 1,047 American adults about news media and veterans. Respondents, including veterans and civilians, were asked to recall news stories about veterans, assess the quality of news coverage of veterans, and offer opinions concerning whether news coverage affects themselves and other people. When respondents could recall a news story about veterans, they described stereotypical stories related to victimization/harm, heroism, charity/social support, mental illness, and violence. Respondents, both civilian and veteran, described news coverage as mediocre and felt the news affects other people more than themselves.
Parrott S, Albright DL, Eckhart N, Laha-Walsh K. U.S. Veterans and Civilians Describe Military News Coverage as Mediocre, Think Stories Affect Others More Than Themselves. Armed Forces & Society. April 2022. doi:10.1177/0095327X221080944