Presented at the 81st Speech Communication Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, November 20, 1995. Publisher website: National Communication Association.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Douglas Swanson was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
A pilot study surveyed radio broadcasters in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas to further an understanding of their role as gatekeepers for public service announcements (PSA) to educate audiences about AIDS and bring about "safe" behavior. A total of 300 stations were in the sample. Respondents were asked to provide information about their stations and their stations' use of HIV/AIDS PSAs. Most broadcasters reported using HIV/AIDS PSAs (76.1%). About one-third of broadcasters who reported not using the PSAs claimed they had never been offered any such announcements to broadcast. Most respondents agreed that HIV/AIDS is a significant national and local public health threat (almost 70% reported knowing someone with HIV or AIDS). Yet many broadcasters expressed reservations about the ability of PSAs to effect necessary behavioral change in the audience. Statistically significant differences were found between broadcasters who use PSAs and those who do not, in five areas which relate to message content and acceptance by audiences. (Contains 33 references; appendixes list stations for survey (by market) and provide a breakdown of how the survey instrument addressed the questions. Survey instrument is also attached.) (Author/NKA)