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Thesis

A description of radio public service announcements produced by Christian groups

The Christian church has been using the specialized media form of public service advertising for almost two decades. This thesis explored and described the subject content of public service announcements (PSAs) produced by twelve Christian groups intended to be aired on radio stations, and compared this content with the subject content objectives of these producers. A content analysis of PSAs was done by coders and producers. Sample survey was used to obtain this coding information from seven of these producers, and secondary information about production was gathered from nine. Findings were that most PSAs produced are religious but coders found many not to be. The major area of disagreement of producers with coders was concerning spots coders placed in the non-religious category. The Social category (man-to-man relationship guided by God-man relationship) was ranked highest in frequency by both coders and producers. Both ranked the Spiritual category (intimate God-man relationship) third. PSAs were found to be weighted by both coders and producers toward the non-religious end of the continuum of categories (i.e., very religious to non-religious). Among secondary findings was that, (1) though split almost evenly, most producers think that they do not have to compromise their message to get PSAs on the air; (2) groups record an average of seventy-three PSAs per year in three to four compaigns; (3) approximately 17 percent of radio stations in the U.S. carry spots on an average for one group; and (4) most PSAs are aired on non-religious stations.

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