The Veterans and Media Lab seeks to be an international leader in researching the role of the mass media in shaping attitudes, emotions, and behavior related to military veterans.
The Veterans and Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research team in which faculty, students, and military veterans study the role of the mass media in shaping perceptions of military veterans. It was founded in 2017 by faculty in the College of Communication & Information Sciences and the Office for Military Families and Veterans at the University of Alabama.
We are interested in how the mass media — from news stories to Hollywood films, social media posts to comic books — represent military service members and veterans. Through experiments and surveys, we seek to understand how exposure to media content informs people’s attitudes, emotions, and behavioral intentions related to veterans. This is important because people’s attitudes might affect everything from governmental policy to veterans’ homecoming.
Our research team includes scholars from journalism, creative media, advertising, social work, computer science, and business.
The Veterans and Media Lab is studying:
- How news organizations represent military veterans in images, stories, and social media;
- How millions of social media users communicate about issues facing veterans;
- How exposure to media content about military veterans informs attitudes, emotions, and behavioral intentions related to military veterans;
- How the mass media may support the transition from military to civilian status;
- How we might better train journalists to accurately cover issues facing military service members, families, and veterans;
- And other work related to veterans and media.
Among other studies concerning media and military veterans, the Veterans and Media Lab has published:
Parrott, S., Albright, D. L., & Eckhart, N. (2021). Veterans and Media: The Effects of News Exposure on Thoughts, Attitudes, and Support of Military Veterans. Armed Forces & Society, 0095327X20986145.
Eckhart, N. R., Laha-Walsh, K., Parrott, S., & Albright, D. L. (2021). Presidential and Gubernatorial Tweets Involving Military Servicemembers and Veterans. Journal of Veterans Studies, 7(1), 36–45. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v7i1.223
Parrott, S., Albright, D. L., Eckhart, N., & Laha-Walsh, K. (2020). Mental Representations of Military Veterans: The Pictures (and Words) In Our Heads. Journal of Veterans Studies, 6(3).
Parrott, S., Albright, D. L., Steele, H. G., & Dyche, C. (2019). The US military veteran in news photographs: Representation and stereotypes. Visual Communication Quarterly, 26(2), 79-90.
Parrott, S., Albright, D. L., Dyche, C., & Steele, H. G. (2019). Hero, charity case, and victim: How US news media frame military veterans on Twitter. Armed Forces & Society, 45(4), 702-722.
The work of the Veterans and Media Lab was featured in The Journalist’s Resource at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy.