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Cruising Is Believing?: Comparing Internet and Traditional Sources on Media Credibility Measures

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Contributes to research on media credibility and media use by surveying politically-interested Web users online to examine whether they view Web publications as being as credible as their traditionally-delivered counterparts. Finds online media tended to be judged more credible than their traditional versions, but that both online and traditional media were only judged as somewhat credible. (SR)
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CRUISING
Is
BELIEVING?:
COMPARING
INTERNET
AND
TRADITIONAE SOURCES
ON
MEDIA
CREDIBIEITY
MEASURES
By Thomas
}.
Johnson and
Barbara
K. Kaye
This study surveyed politically-interested
Web
users online
to
examine
ivhether they viezv
Web
publications
as
credible
as
their traditionally-
delivered
counterjmrts. Credibility
Is
crucial for
the
Internet
because
past
studies suggest
people are less
likely
io
pay attention to media they do not
perceive as
credible.
This study found online media tended
to
be
judged
more
credible
than their traditional versions. However, both online and
traditional media were only judged
as
somewhat
credible.
A campaign analyst, while discussing how the Internet could be used
to reach voters, fretted about whether the public would trust information on
the Internet when "Joe from Dubuque"
can
create
a
Web page that appears
as credible
as
one posted
by the
news media.'
But in the face
of
declining confidence in the media
-
a
1997
Roper poll
shows that people are as likely to believe everything they hear from a lawyer
or
a
Congressman
(3
percent)
as
they
are
from
a
newspaper reporter
(2
percent)^
-a
more pertinent question might be how much do people trust the
New
York Times
online? Credibility
is
crucial if the public
is
going to continue
to embrace and accept the Internet. If people do not trust or believe what they
see or hear in the traditional media or from online media sources, they are less
likely
to pay
attention
to it.^
Lack
of
trust
in
information obtained from
the
Web could keep
it
from becoming
a
major source
of
news
in the
immediate
future.While numerous studies have examined demographic characteristics
of those
who
travel
the
Information Superhighway,''
far
less attention
has
been paid to the degree to which people trust the information they find there.
This study surveyed politically-interested
Web
users online
to
examine
whether they view Internet publications
as
credible
as
their traditionally-
delivered counterparts
and
which demographic characteristics determine
credibility. More specifically, this study compares online newspapers, news
magazines, candidate literature,
and
issue-oriented sources
to
their tradi-
tionally delivered versions
in
terms
of
credibility. Credibility is measured
as
the degree to which political ly-interested Web users judge information on the
Internet to be believable, fair, accurate, and in depth. This study also explores
the degree to which credibility
of an
online medium correlates with amount
of reliance
on it as
well
as the
degree
to
which credibility
is
related
to age,
gender, income,
and
levels
of
education.
Thomas
}.
Johnson is
an
associate professor
in the
School
of journalism
at
Southern Illinois
University, and
Barbara
K. Kaye
is
an assistant
professor
in the Department of Communi-
cation Arts
at
Valdosta State Umversiiy. Tliis study
loas
conducted while Kaye was
an
assistant
professor
in the Department of
Radio-Television
at
Southern
Ulinois
University.
Introduction
J&MCQuanerly
Vol.
75.
No.2
Summer
1998
,J2>.M0
m998
AEJMC
CRUISING
Is
BEUEVJNG?: 325
Literature
Media Credibility. Widespread concern that the public's confidence
Review
"^ *^^ media had dropped spurred a host of studies in the mid-to-iate 1980s
examining media credibility.^ However, after studies suggested that the
credibility crisis itself lacked credibility
-
that is, the public had
a
largely
favorable impression
of
the niedia^
-
attention shifted away from media
credibility to source and message credibility.^ But media credibility deserves
renewed attention for
at
least two reasons. First, credibility levels have
dropped considerably during the 1990s. For instance,
a
1996 National
Opinion Research Center Poll showed that the percentage of those who had
a great deal of faith in the press has declined from 18 percent to U percent
from
1986
to
1996,
and the numbersof those who had at least some confidence
in the media dropped from 72 percent to 39 percent over the same time
period.'* Similarly, while a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that a
solid majority of the public still views the three networks as credible (72
percent to
74
percent), believability ratings are ten points lower than
a
decade
before.^ Finally, a
1997
Roper study found out that while almost eight out of
ten (78 percent) said that the source they rely on most delivers high-quality
information, less than half (47 percent) thought the media in general were
doing a good job. Also, from 1985 to 1997 the number of individuals who
judged negativity, bias, and being manipulated by special interests as major
problems in media coverage increased.'" Second, most of the earlier credibil-
ity studies were conducted before the emergence of several new media, most
notably the Internet.
Only a few studies have examined the credibility of Internet informa-
tion. Brady showed 134 graduate and undergraduate students a Web page
he created containing information on candidates running for Congress and
asked the students to judge whether the information on the Web page was
more or less in-depth and biased than similar televised information. Almost
three-quarters
(71
percent) judged the Web page more in-depth than televi-
sion. While
a
slight majority (54.5 percent) said the Web page was just as
biasedas television,
43.3
percent said it was less biased." Similarly, a study
by the Pew Research Center also found that online users judged the Internet
as a more credible source than traditional media. A majority (56 percent)
agreed that "these days you're more likely to find accurate information about
what's going on from the Internet than in the daily newspapers or on the
network
news,"
while only 22 percent concurred that "a lot of what you find
on the Internet cannot be believed."'- On the other hand, a Roper study for
the Freedom Forum found that people rated leading traditional sources as
more fair and unbiased than Internet information. While three-quarters
claimed they trust CNN and six in ten had confidence in the New
York
Times,
slightly more than half (54 percent) of those surveyed trusted the Internet to
deliver fair and unbiased information about the presidential campaign.
However, people put more faith in the Internet than in their local newspapers
(52 percent).'-'
Although evidence remains scarce on whether individuals perceive
the Internet to be credible, several analysts have examined whether Internet
information
should
be judged as trustworthy as traditional sources. Several
observers have noted that an assumed strength of the Internet
-
that it is a
freewheeling, unregulated outpost for anyone to express his or her opinions
- might also weaken its value as
a
credible information source. While
traditional news sources are subject to both professional and social pressures
to provide accurate and unbiased information. Web sites posted by "Joe from
326
/OUANALISM &
MASS COMMUNICVTON QUARTERLY
Dubuque" are not subject to such constraints.''' Worse, several parody sites
have cropped up on the Internet which look like ones posted by official
sources. Online parodies may mislead viewers, especially Web novices, into
believing they are visiting official sites. For instance, during the 1996
presidential elecrion, those looking for the Bob Dole home page may have
stumbled upon a parody site that had the Dole fruit company logo embla-
zoned upon it and touted Dole as the "ripe man for the job."'-''
Messages from Usenet and other discussion forums may be judged
even less believable than Web sites. Research on source credibility in
traditionally-delivered media suggests that individuals use several stan-
dards in judging a source's believability, including the source's expertise and
bias as well as the audience members' prior knowledge and impressions of
a source. When knowledge of the source's credibility is limited, individuals
examine the message to see if it is well presented, believable, and with
specifics or supporting data.'^ Studies suggest that few of these standards are
met in online discussions. Franke'^ found in a content analysis of political
discussions on the Internet that most messages were too brief or strange
to
be
considered serious dialogue. Most of the messages reflected users' "pre-
established partisan views" and a majority were significantly sarcastic in
tone.
Credibility and Demographics. Several studies have examijied whether
demographics influence judgments of media credibility. Some of the results
of these studies can be applied to the Internet. For instance, past studies
suggest that males and those with high levels of education, income, and
media use tend to be the most critical of the media in general.'^ Internet
studies suggest while the Information Superhighway is becoming more
demographically mainstream,''' it is still dominated by white males of high
sociocconomic status.-" Researchers also suggest that Internet users tend to
be heavy media users in general, although the Internet has not yet replaced
more traditional sources.-' Rather, those who rely on the Internet for political
information tend to be "political junkies" who watch CNN, Sunday public
affairs programs, and C-SPAN, and who read more news magazines and
political books than the average individual.^- Therefore, several demo-
graphic characteristics associated with high use of the Internet are also
related to negative perceptions of credibility.
On the other hand, some demographic variables may be associated
with positive perceptions of Internet credibility. Two characteristics linked
with high levels of media credibility are also associated with heavy Internet
use:
age and political ideology. Past studies suggest that young adults are the
most likely to judge the media as credible" and are the most likely to use the
Internet, although older individuals are beginning to enter cyberspace in
greater numbers.^"" Similarly, liberals are more likely than conservatives to
judge the media as credible and to support freedom of press issues.-'^ While
studies suggest that Democrats and Republicans use the Internet in about
equal proportions-'' and that at least a quarter of Web users are Libertarian,^''
the number of Web users who identify themselves as liberals outnumber
those who consider themselves conservatives.^^
Credibility and Media Use. Finally, past studies suggest that how
credible one views a medium is strongly related to how often one uses it.^'*
Similarly, research suggests that people judge their preferred medium as the
most credible.-"' Therefore, most studies find that television, the most relied
upon source, is also judged the most credible.^' Recent studies estimate the
number of Americans who use the Internet as between 26.4 and 37 million
CRU!SING IS BEUEVINC?: COMPARING
ImEKNerAND
TRADWONAL SOURCES
OW
MEDIA CKEDJBHJTT MEASURES
32 7
Research
Questions
Method
people, less than 20 percent of the adult population.^^ These statistics,
however, only measure those who have visited cyberspace, not the number
of users who rely on it for news and information. Studies conducted during
the 1996 presidential election found that about 12 percent of voting age
Americans used the Internet for political news and 3 percent listed it as their
primary source of information." With so few people relying on the Internet
for political information, it
is
doubtful whether the general population would
judge it as credible as more traditional sources. However, as the study by the
Pew Research Center of online users suggests, those who rely on the Internet
for political news and information might judge it just as credible, or more so,
than traditional news sources.
This study of the credibility of online sources examines four main
questions:
1.
To what degree will individuals who regularly use the
Internet for political information judge online newspapers,
news magazines, candidate literature, and issue-oriented sources
as credible?
2.
How do online newspapers, news magazines, candi-
date literature, and issue-oriented sources compare with their
traditionally-delivered versions in terms of credibility?
3a: How does reliance on online media compare with
reliance on their traditional counterparts in terms of credibility?
3b:
Does reliance correlate more strongly with credibility
than general use measures?
4,
To what degree is credibility of online sources corre-
lated with age, gender, income, and educational levels?
328
Data CoUection. This study is based on an online survey designed to
attract politically-interested Web
users.
The survey was posted on the World
Wide Web during the two weeks before and the two weeks after the 1996
presidential election (23 October - 20 November 1996). Additionally, links
were established to the survey from other politically-oriented Web sites and
notices were sent to media and politically-oriented discussion groups, fo-
rums,
Usenet groups, and listservs informing them of the survey. The intent
was not to generate a random sample,** but to attract politically-interested
Web users - those who would be more likely to use online media sources. A
total of 308 individuals completed the survey during the four-week period.
While this is a convenience sample, demographic comparisons with other
online surveys, as well as with ones conducted by the traditional method of
random telephone calls, suggest the sample may be representative of the
Internet population.^''
Dependent Measures. Although credibility is typically defined in
terms of worthiness of being believed,'^ it is typically measured as
a
multidi-
mensional construct. Media credibility has been measured several ways, and
studies suggest that how credibility is measured influences the degree to
which individuals judge the media as credible.-''' Believability, accuracy,
bias,
louRNAUSM
&
MASS
CoMMUNic^noN
and depth or completeness are four measures that have consistently emerged
from several past studies that have examined how media credibility should
be gauged.-^
Independent Measures.
Traditional
vs.
Online
Sources.
For this survey, respondents were asked
to compare traditionally-delivered and online media in terms of believabil-
ity, fairness, accuracy, and depth of political information. The media exam-
ined were newspapers, news magazines, candidate literature, and political
issue-oriented sources. Respondents were asked to rate on a five-point scale
the degree of believabilitv, fairness, accuracy, and depth of each online and
traditional source. The five-point scale ranged from not at all believable (fair,
accurate, or in-depth) to very believable (fair, accurate, or in-depth), with a
"don't know" option. Scores for the four measures of credibility were
combined into a credibility index for each traditional and online medium.
The standardized Cronbach's alpha for the eight scales ranged from
.83
to
.91.
Source Reliance and
Use.
Research on traditional media suggests that
credibility is strongly related to how often individuals use that particular
medium.-*^ Past studies also suggest tbat reliance is more strongly associated
with media credibility than with general use measures,*^ This study em-
ployed four different measures of media use; average number of hours per
week on the Web, the average hours per week on political sites, the number
of times the Internet has been accessed, and the degree of reliance on the Web,
The three different use measures (hours per week and times accessing the
Web and hours per week on political sites) were open-ended. Respondents
were also asked to judge on a five-point scale: "How much do you rely on
the following sources (newspapers, news magazines, and the World Wide
Web) for your political information?" Responses ranged from "don't rely at
all"
to "heavily rely on."
Demographics.
Past studies suggest that those who are older and have
high levels of income and education are the least likely to view the media as
credible, and males judge the media as less credible than females.*' There-
fore,
this study also employed traditional measures of age, gender, income,
and education*^ to see if relationships between credibility and demographics
typically found for traditionally-delivered media hold true for their online
counterparts.
Data Analysis. The data were analyzed in four stages:
First, frequencies were run on the four traditional and the four online
credibility indexes.
Second, paired t-tests were calculated to compare each of the online
media with its traditionally-delivered counterpart on the credibility indices.
"Don't know" responses were excluded to compare responses only from
those who stated an opinion concerning the differences between online
and traditionally-delivered media.'*^
Third, Pearson correlations were run between the four media use
measures and credibility of online newspapers, online news magazines,
online candidate literature, and online issue sources to determine whether
the amount of Internet use influences whether individuals judge the Web to
be credible. Similarly, reliance on traditional sources and the World Wide
Web were correlated with credibility measures both to ascertain whether
reliance influences credibility and to determine if reliance is more strongly
related to perceptions of Web credibility than Internet use.
Finally, correlational analysis between the oiiline media variables and
age,
gender, education, and income was used to determine whether the
CKUISINCISBEUEVING?:
Co^miit!>K
INTERNET AND
TRAomoNAL
SOURCES ON
MEDIA
QtEDiBiUTYMEASUFES
329
TABLE 1
Credibility of Online Media
Online Newspapers (/V=232)
Not at all/not very... 13.4
Somewhat... 71.9
Moderately/very.... 14.7
Online News Magazines (N=]68)
Not at all/not very... 14.3
Somewhat... 71.4
Moderately/very.... 14.3
Online Candidate Literature (N=204)
Not at
all /
not very... 55.9
Somewhat... 40.7
Moderately/very.... 3.4
Online Political Issue-Oriented Sources (N=
Not at all/not very... 11.4
Somewhat... 66.2
Moderately/very.... 22.4
relationships found for traditional media will also appear for online media in
terms of credibility.
Results
This study examines
308
responses to an online survey assessing Web
users'
perceptions of credibility of online political information sources.
Respondents spend an average of 13.2 hours per week on the Web; three of
those hours are spent seeking online political information. Overall, three-
quarters (75.5%) of the respondents browse the Web between 10 and 20
hours per week on average. The respondents are an experienced group of
users who have accessed the Web an average of 1,723 times, including 11
people who said they have accessed the Internet more than 10,000 times.
Credibility of Online
Sources.
Anyone with access to
a
server can post
information on the Web without restriction, calling the Web's credibility into
question. The degree to which individuals judge online sources as credible is
the focus of this study's first research question.
Online newspapers, news magazines, and political issue-oriented
sites are judged as "somewhat" credible by the majority of respondents.
Online candidate literature, however, is thought of as "not at all" to "not
very" credible by slightly more that half of the respondents (Table 1).
Compared to other online information sources, political issue-oriented sites
are deemed the most credible.
Newspapers
and News Magazines Online. Respondents perceive online
newspapers and online news magazines to be equally credible. About 7 out
of 10 respondents generally perceive these two information sources as
"somewhat" credible. The remaining respondents are evenly divided be-
tween not at all/not very credible and moderately to very credible (Table 1).
330
jouRNAiJSM
&
MASS
CoMMUNicmoN
TABLE
2
Credibility of Traditionally Delivered Information Sources versus Online Counterparts
Means
and
Credibility
Paired Samples t-scores
Newspapers
11.7
Online Newspapers
12.4
t-score
3.1*
News Magazines
12.3
Online News Magazines
12.4
t-score
-2
Candidate Literature
8.2
Online Candidate Literature
9.2
t-score
-6.5*
Issue-Oriented Sources
12.9
Online Lssue-Oriented Sources
13.0
t-score
-.8
*
= <
.025, two-tailed
Online
Candidate
Literature:
Candidate information posted online
by
politicians
is
seen
as the
least credible source
by
almost
6 out of 10
(55.9%)
respondents. Only
3.4%
indicate that online candidate literature
is
moder-
ately
to
very credible.
Online
Political Issue-Oriented
Sources:
Online sources that post politi-
cal issue information are considered "somewhat" credible by two-thirds of
the respondents. Also, almost one quarter (22.4%) of those responding
marked these Web sources as being moderately to very credible.
Online vs. Traditional
Sources.
Traditional information sources are
generally heavily scrutinized for accurate and unbiased reporting, while
Internet sources are not subject to these same pressures. The Internet's
unregulated flow of information may cause many people to question its
credibility. Studies probing credibility report mixed results; some claim that
online sources are more credible than their traditionally-delivered counter-
parts,
while others have concluded the opposite. Therefore, paired sample t-
tests were run to compare traditional sources to the Internet versions in terms
of credibility.
Generally, neither traditional nor online sources are rated much above
"somewhat" credible. However, online newspapers and online candidate
literature are judged as significantly more credible than their traditional
counterparts. On the other hand, the mean credibility scores for online news
magazines and online issue-oriented sources are nearly identical to their
traditional versions (Table 2).
Web and Media Reliance and Credibility. Studies indicate that the
more credible the public finds a particular medium the more they rely on it
as their primary news source. Therefore, the most relied-upon sources are
deemed the most credible. Relationships between reliance on the Web and
judgments of credibility are examined next, as are comparisons between
reliance on traditional media and credibility.
CRUISOJG
IS
BEUEVINC?:
COMPARING
IWTEJWETAND
TRADmoNM.
SOURCES
ON
MEDIA
CREDamrr
MEASURES
331
TABLE 3
Reliance and Credibility of
Traditional
and Online Information Sources
Correlation Coefficients Credibility
Rely on Newspapers
Newspapers .64***
Rely on News Magazines
News Magazines
.48***
Rely on Web
Online Newspapers .16*
Rely on Web
Online News Magazines .19*
Rely on Web
Online Candidate Literature
.23***
Rely on Web
Online Issue-Oriented Sources .24***
>
.05
= *
>
.01
= *'
>.OO1 =
This study also finds that there
is a
strong correlation between reliance
on traditionally-delivered print media and perceptions of credibility with
both relationships significant at the .001 level. The more politically-inter-
ested users rely on printed newspapers and news magazines, the more those
media are considered credible {Table 3). Reliance on the Web is also
significantly related to credibility assessments of all four online sources
examined. However, noneof the scores for the online media is as high as the
traditional ones.
Number of
Times Accessed
and
Hours
per
Week
on the Web.
Reliance is a
much stronger measure of credibility than use of the Web. Hours of weekly
use
is
not significantly related to credibility for any of the four online sources.
Moreover, the amount of online use of candidate literature tends to be
negatively related to levels of credibility. Use of the Web specifically for
political information
is,
however, significantly correlated with perceptions of
credibility of online issue sources (Table 4).
The number of times the Web has been accessed and the number of
hours individuals spend on the Web do not seem to influence perceptions
of
credibility. Exposure to specific political content is only slightly more influ-
ential. The Web is a new medium still in its infancy, thus experience may not
yet be a factor when judging the credibility of online sources (Table 4).
Associations betioeen Demographics and Credibility. While studies
indicate the Internet is becoming more demographically diverse, it is still
dominated by white males of higher socioeconomic status, a group least
likely to assess the media as credible. On the other hand, studies indicate
332
/oiiRNALisM
&
MASS
CoMMUNic/inoN
QUAKTOLY
TABLE
4
Demographics and Online Source Credibility
Correlation Coefficients "
Credibility
Hours per Week on Web
Online Newspapers
.01
Online News Magazines
.14
Online Candidate Literature
-.05
Online Issue Sources
.05
Hours per Week on Political Sites
Online Newspapers
.08
Online News Magazines
.07
Online Candidate Literature
.05
Online Issue Sources
.18*
Times Accessed the Web
Online Newspapers
.05
Online News Magazines
.00
Online Candidate Literature
.04
Online Issue Sources
-.06
GenderOnline Newspapers
.18**
Online News Magazines
.22**
Online Candidate Literature
.18**
Online Issue Sources
.17**
Online Newspapers
-.22
Online News Magazines
-.22
Online Candidate Literature
-.16
Online Issue Sources
-.10
Online Newspapers
-.13*
Online News Magazines
-.15
Online Candidate Literature
-.31"
Online Issue Sources
-.22"
Online Newspapers
-.12
Online News Magazines
-.14
Online Candidate Literature
-.19**
Online Issue Sources
-.07
>
.05 = *
>
.01 = *"
>
.001 = ***
***
young adults
are
most likely
to
perceive
the
media
as
credible.
The
last
research question probes
the
relationships between several demographic
variables and judgments
of
online source credibility.
This study finds that gender,
age, and
education
are
significantly
associated with online media use among
the
respondents, while income
is
only linked
to
use
of
online candidate literature (Table 4).
CKUISISCISBEUEVINC?:
COMPARING
ImEHNiT
AND
TRADmoNAL
SOURCES
cyNMnDuCxiDiBiiny
MEASURES
333
Gender. Gender is the only variable significantly associated with
perceptionsofcredibilityofall four online sources. Generally, females in this
study view the Web as more credible and trustworthy than males.
Age. Age issignificantly related to credibility judgments of threeof the
four online sources. Significant negative correlations indicate that as age
increases, respondents perceive online newspapers, news magazines, and
candidate literature to be less credible. Age is not a factor when judging the
credibility of online issue sources.
Educaiiou. Education is negatively associated with perceptions of
online credibility. Significant associations are found for online newspapers,
online candidate literature, and political issue-oriented sites, indicating that
those who are better educated tend to view onl I ne pol Itical information as less
credible. Judgments of credibility of online news magazines are not influ-
enced by levels of education.
Income.
Income is generally a poor indicator of online credibility with
only the relationship between income and online candidate literature prov-
ing significant. All the relationships are negative, suggesting that as income
increases those surveyed tend to judge online media as less credible. Even
though high income is generally associated with higher levels of education,
apparently increased income has little bearing on perceptions of online
credibility.
UlSCUSSlon
jj^jg study employed an online survey of politically-interested Web
users to examine whether those individuals view online publications as
credible as their traditionally-delivered counterparts in the face of studies
that suggest that trust in the media is declining. Credibility is a crucial issue
for the Internet because past research suggests that people are less likely to
pay attention to media they do not perceive as credible.
This study found tbat among the sample of politically-interested Web
users that online newspapers and online candidate literature are viewed as
more credible than their traditionally-delivered counterparts while no differ-
ences exist for news magazines and issue-oriented sources.
Respondents did not judge any of the onlineor traditionally-delivered
sources as very credible, however. The majority of respondents judge online
media and political issue-oriented publications as somewhat credible, while
online candidate literature is perceived as not at all or not very credible.
Traditionally-delivered media follow the same trend. This study, then, offers
some support to polls that suggest the media are suffering from a crisis in
credibility. However, it should be noted that while other studies look at the
general population, this one is limited to those who use the Web for political
information. Some analysts suggest that "netizens" are generally distrustful
and disconnected from the government and other major institutions.'^ In-
deed, studies of Internet users suggest that they are alienated from govern-
ment.^^ Thus, the low credibility scores may result, in part, because Internet
users trust major institutions less than do the general public.
Respondents do not judge each media as equally credible. Scores for
candidate literature are significantly lower than for the other media. The low
scores for candidate literature are hardly surprising as both candidate flyers
and Web sites may be viewed as propaganda.
Past studies suggest that a medium's credibility is strongly related to
the degree to which people rely on it. Indeed, in this study reliance is linked
to credibility, particularly for traditional sources where all correlations are
334
jouRNMJSM
&
MASS
CoMMUNtcinow
QUASTIKLY
significant
at
the .001 level. However, correlations
for
online sources are
weaker than
for
traditionally-delivered ones, even though the politically-
interested Web users indicate they rely more on Internet sources and judge
them as more credible than the traditional ones.
This study
of
politically-interested Internet users discovered that
reliance on the Web is more strongly associated with credibility than amount
of use. These findings support earlier research
on
traditionally-delivered
media which also found that reliance
is a
stronger indicator of credibility than
amount
of
use.'''' Rimmer and Weaver"^ suggest that reliance measures
should be more strongly linked to media credibility than use because media
use taps behaviors while reliance measures examine attitudes toward indi-
vidual media. Amount of Internet use may also not be linked to credibility
because the Web is an emerging medium, so levels of experience may not yet
influence judgments of credibility.
Previous studies of traditional media have found those who are older,
male, and
of
high socioeconomic status tend to be the most critical
of
the
media; this study found an identical pattern with the Internet. The young are
the heaviest users
of the
Internet, which may contribute
to
their higher
credibility scores. But while Internet use is highest among those who are male
and have a high income and education, such users are less likely to view the
Internet as credible.
The findings from this study are limited by the small sample size and
because the online survey method constitutes a convenience rather than
a
random sample. Results cannot be generalized to the general population or
even to the general Internet population. But demographic comparisons with
other online Internet surveys, as well as with ones conducted by telephone,
suggest this .sample may be representative of the Internet population. Also,
because this study
did
not directly compare
a
traditional source with
its
corresponding Internet
one
(e.g., compare
the
Washington Post with
the
Washington
Piwf online), it is unclear whether findings result from perceived
channel differences or from different content on the Internet and traditional
sources. Finally, results from this study
may
differ from past research
because the wording for some of the credibility questions were not identical.
This study examined media credibility among those who regularly
use the Internet for political information. Future studies could be conducted
among the general population to determine the degree to which the Internet
is viewed as credible and whether
it
is indeed judged as more trustworthy
than traditionally-delivered counterparts.
NOTES
1.
Phil Noble, "Net the Vote,"
Campaigns
&
Elections.
July 1996,
27-33.
The authors will be using the terms "Internet " and the "Web" interchange-
ably throughout the article for the sake
of
variety, although they are aware
that the World Wide Web is only
a
portion of the larger Internet.
2.
Freedom Forum, "News Junkies, News Critics: How Americans Use
the News
and
What They Think About
it,"
available
at
http://
www.newseum.org/survey/ summary.html, January 1997.
3.
Cecilie Gaziano, "How Credible is the Credibility Crisis?" journalism
Quarterhj
65 (summer 1988): 267-78, 375.
4.
For instance, see Jupiter Communications, "1997 Consumer Internet
Report," available
at
http:/
/
www.jup.com/research/reports/
CRUISING
Is
BEUEVING?:
CoMPAmuclmERNETANDTRAPmoNALSouRCEsou
MEDIA
CREnmiijn
MEASURES
335
consumer.shtml; CommerceNet and Neilsen Research, "The CommerceNet /
Neilsen Internet Demographics Survey: Executive Summary, " available at
http://
www.commerce.net/information/surveys, October 1995; D.L,
Hoffman, W.D, Kalsbeek, and T, P, Novak, "Internet Use on the United
States: 1995 Baselines for Commercial Development," available at http/ /
www2000.orgsm,vanderbilt.edu/baseline/1995,Intemet.estimates.htm!; J,
McGavey, "Latest Net Study; 9,5 Million Active Surfers," Interactive
Week,
January 1996, 9; MIDS, "Third MIDS Internet Demographic Survey, Matrix
Information and Directory Services," available at http:/ / www3,mids,org/
ids3/pr9510.html.
5,
American Society of Newspaper Editors, Newspaper Cred(fci7/(i/;
Build-
ing
Reader
Trust, conducted by MORI Research Inc,
1985;
Times Mirror, The
People & the Press: A Time Mirror Investigation of Public Attitudes Toward the
News
Media,
conducted by Gallup in collaboration with Michael J, Robinson
(Los Angeles: Times Mirror Company, 1986);
The
People
and the
Press:
Part
5,
conducted by the Gallup Organization (Washington, DC: Times Mirror
Company, 1989);
The
People
and the
Press:
Part
3
(Los Angeles: Times Mirror
Company, 1987); D, Charles Whitney, The
Media
and the
People:
Soundings
from Two Communities (New York: Gannett Center for Media Studies,
Columbia University, 1985); David Shaw, "Public and the Press - Two
Viewpoints," Los Angeles Times, 11 August, 1985, sec. A, pp, 1,
12-13;
Associated Press Managing Editors Association, journalists and Readers:
Bridging
the
Credibility
Gap,
conducted by MORI Research, Inc, (San Bernar-
dino,
CA:
The Sun, October
1985);
William Schneider and
LA,
Lewis, "Views
on the News,"
Public
Opinion,
August-September
1985,
6-11,58-59; Ralph S,
Izard, "Public Confidence in the News Media," Journalism Quarterly 62
(spring 1985): 247-55,
6, Gaziano, "How Credible is the Credibility Crisis?";Times Mirror,
The
People
&
the
Press,
1986.
7,
For instance, see Michael D, Slater and Donna Rouner, "How Message
Evaluation and Source Attributes May Influence Credibility Assessment and
Belief Change,"
journalism
&
Mass Communication Quarterly
73
(winter 1996):
974-91;
Erica Weintraub Austin and Qingwen Dong, "Source v. Content
Effects on Judgments of News Believability,"
journalism Quarterly
71
(winter
1994):
973-83; Keith Stamm and Ric Dube, "The Relationship of Atritudinal
Components to Trust in Media,"
Communication Research
21
(February 1994):
105-123;
Albert Gunther, "Attitude Extremity and Trust in Media," journal-
ism
Quarterly
65 (summer 1988): 279-87.
8, "Political Institutions, the Press, and Education Show Big Declines,"
The
Public
Perspective,
February/March 1997, 4,
9,
Pew Research Center for the People and the
Press,
"TV News Viewership
Declines: Network TV News Credibility Slips," available at http://
www,people-press.org/medmor,htm. May 1996, Another Pew Charitable
Trusts survey found that favorability ratings for network news have fallen
from
82%
to
73%
from 1992 to 1997 (Pew Research Center for the People and
the Press, "Fewer Favor Press Scrutiny of Political Leaders: Press 'Unfair,
Inaccurate and Pushy,'" available at http://www.people-press.org/
97medrpt.htm).
10,
The 1997 Freedom Forum study
("News
Junkies, News Critics")
found that
63%
said negative coverage was
a
major problem, while
52%
said
bias and 63% said bowing to special interests were serious problems. The
1997 Pew Charitable Trusts study ("Fewer Favor Press Scrutiny") found that
67%
said press coverage tends to favor one side.
336
JouHNAUSM
&
MASS COMMUNKATK IN
11.
Dwight
J.
Brady, "Cyberdemocracy and Perceptions of Politics: An
Experimental Analysis of Political Communication on the World Wide Web"
(paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Association for
Public Opinion Research, Chicago, IL, 1996).
12.
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, "One-in-Ten Voters
Online for Campaign '96," available at http://www.people-press.org/
tec96-l.htm, November 1996.
13.
John W. Mashek with Lawrence T. McGill and Adam Clayton Powell
III,
Lethargy '96: How the Media Covered a Listless Campaign (Arlington, VA:
The Freedom Forum, 1997). Itshouldbenoted, however, that these responses
were among those who used the medium and felt comforfable enough to rate
it on fairness and bias. Roper found that 70% did not use the Internet and
another 16% did not know if it was fair and unbiased. Therefore, the 54%
fairness rating was based on the
14%
of the survey who used the Internet and
expressed an opinion on
it.
Also, while this study found that the public rated
local media lower than national ones, some studies find the opposite to be
true (Andrew Kohut and Robert C. Toth, "The Central Conundrum: How
Can the People Like What They Distrust?,"
The Harvard Internatioriat journal
of Press/Politics 3 [winter 1998]: 110-117).
14.
Paul Starobin, "On the Square,"
National
journal,
25 May 1996,1145-
1149;
Andrew Calabrese and Mark Borchert, "Prospects for Electronic De-
mocracy in the United
States:
Rethinking Communication and Social Policy,"
Media.
Culture
and Society
18 (April
1996):
249-68.
15.
Frank Houston, "The Virtual Trail," Columbia journalism Review,
January/February
1996,
26-28;
PamGreenberg, "Political Possibilities," Sfiife
Legislatures
22 (March 1996):
19-23.
16.
Slater and Rouner, "Message Evaluation and Source Attributes";
Austin and Dong, "Source v. Content Effects."
17.
Gordon Franke, "Participatory Political Discussion on the Internet,"
Votes
and Opinions 2 0uly/August 1996): 22-25.
18.
Ronald Mulder, "A Log-Linear Analysis of Media Credibilify,"
jour-
nalism Quarterly 58 (winter 1981): 635-38; Michael J. Robinson and Andrew
Kohut, "Believabitity and the Press,"
Public
Opinion Quarterly 52 (summer
1988):
174-89;
American Society of Newspaper Editors, A'™'s;)flperCrt'rfifi;7j7y;
Times Mirror,
The People
&
the
Press;
Whitney,
The Media and
the
People.
19.
"American Internet User Survey Finds More than 41.5 Million U.S.
Adults are Actively Using the Internet," available at http:/ /
www.cyberdialogue.com/marketing/, 27 January
1998;
Hoffman, Kalsbeek
and Lovak, "Internet and Web Use."
20.
Guido
H.
Stem pel
III
and Thomas Hargrove, "Mass Media Audiences
in a Changing Media Environment," journalism & Mass Communication
Qwflrff r/y
73
(aufumn
1996):
549-58;Georgia Institute of TechnoIogy'sGraphic,
Visualization and Usability Center, "G VU's 7th WWW User Survey," avail-
able at
http:
/ / www.gvu.gatech.edu / user_surveys/survey-1997-04 /#exec;
David S. Birdsell, Douglas Muzzio, Humphrey Taylor and David Krane, "A
New Political Marketplace: The Web Snares Voters,"
The Public
Perspective,
June / July
1996,33;
"Who's Surfing the
Net?"
The Public
Perspective,
June / July
1996.
21.
Rebekah
V.
Bromley and Dorothy Bowles, "Impact of Internet on Use
of Traditional News Media,"
Newspaper Research journal 16
(spring
1995):
14-
27;
Barbara K. Kaye, "Uses and Gratifications of fhe World Wide
Web:
From
Couch Potato to Web Potato," New
jersey journal
of
Communication
6 (spring
1998):
21-40;GVU/'GVU's7thWWWUserSurvey." Some studies suggest,
:
COMtMUNCll-nrKMTANDTRADmONALSouFCESONMEDIACREDaiLinMEASURES
337
however, that Internet use has cut into time for other media, particularly
television (WebCensus, "Media Usage and the Internet," available at http:/
/ webcensus,com / result,html, March
1998;
Pew Charitable Trust, "TV News
Viewership Declines"),
22.
"Cybercampaigns Preach to the Choir," Media a)id Campaigns 96
Briefing
No.
1 (New York: Media Studies Center, 1996), 8-10,
23.
Bruce H, Westley and Werner
J.
Severin, "Some Correlates of Media
Credibility,"/owriJH/(s»jQi(rtr(t'r/j/41 (summer 1964):325-35; Richard F.Carter
and Bradley S, Greenberg, "Newspapers or Television: Which Do You
Believe?,"
Journalism
Quarterly42 (winter
1965):
29-34; Bradley
S,
Greenberg,
"Media Use and Believability: Some Multiple Correlates,"
Journalism
Quar-
terly
43 {winter 1966): 665-70, 732;
People and the
Press:
Part
3;
Mulder, "Log-
Linear Analysis." The survey for the Pew Research Center ("TV News
Viewership Declines"), however, indicates that declines in news credibility
ratings were highest among young adults.
24,
Stempel and Hargrove, "Mass Media Audiences";
GVU,
"GVU's 7th
WWW User Survey"; Birdsell, Muzzio, Taylor, and Krane, "A New Political
Marketplace"; "Who's Surfing the Net?"
25,
Thomas J. Johnson, "Exploring Media Credibility: How Media and
Nonmedia Workers judged Media Performance in Iran/Contra," journalism
Quarterly 70
(spring
1993):
87-97;
Cecilie Gaziano, "News People's Ideology
and the Credibility Debate,"
Newspaper Research Journal
9 (fall 1987): 1-18.
26,
"Who's Surfing the Net?" Our study also suggests that there were an
equal proportion of Republicans (32%) and Democrats (34"/i)),
27.
GVU, "GVU's 7th WWW User Survey,"
28.
Douglas MuzzioandDavid Birdsell, "Thel996'Net Voter," TileP»Wic
Pfr.s^itT/iw. December/January 1997;GVU,"GVU's7th WWW UserSurvey."
29,
Wayne Wanta and Yu-Wei Hu, "The Effects of Credibility, Reliance,
and Exposure on Media Agenda-Setting: A Path Analysis Model,"
Journalism
Quarterly 71
(spring
1994):
90-98; Westley and Severin, "Some Correlates of
Media Credibility"; Greenberg, "Media Use and Believability"; American
Society of Newspaper Editors, Building
Reader
Trust.
30,
Tony Rimmer and David Weaver, "Different Questions, Different
Answers? Media Use and Media Credibility,"
Journalism
Quarterly
6A
(spring
1987):
28-36, 44; Carter and Greenberg, "Newspapers or Television," But
while people judge their preferred medium as more credible, it does not
necessarily mean they view it as credible. For instance, Rimmer and Weaver
("Different Questions, Different Answers?") found thaf only 22% of those
who said television was their top choice for local news gave television a high
credibility rating. Similarly, Westley and Severin
("Some
Correlates") dis-
covered fhat
38%
of heavy radio lisfeners judged radio as credible and scores
for ofher media tended to be below 50%,
31.
Bums
W,
Roper,
Changing Public
Attitudes
Toward Television and Other
Mass Media, 1959-1976 (New York: Television Information Office, 1977);
Harvey K, jacobson, "Mass Media Believability: A Study of Receiver Judg-
ments,"
Journalism Quarterly
46 {spring 1969): 20-28; Carter and Creenberg,
"Which Do You
Believe?";
Greenberg, "Media Use and Believability"; Westley
and Severin, "Some Correlates of Media Credibility." However, studies
suggest that those who actively seek out information are more likely to see
newspapers as credible (Ronald Mulder, "Media Credibility: A Uses-Grati-
fications Approach," journalism Quarterly 57 [autumn 1980J: 474-77). Also,
studies indicate fhat those who are highly educated, older and male tend to
be more likely to judge newspapers as credible than younger, less educated
O3O
louRNAUSM
Sf M/i,ss
CoMMUNii'/in
females (Mulder, "Log-Linear Analysis"; Carter and Greenberg "Newspa-
pers orTelevision"; Westley and Severin, "Some Correlates"; Pew Charitable
Trusts, "TV News Viewership Declines"),
32.
CommerceNet and Neilsen Research, "The CommerceNet/ Neilsen
Internet Demographics Survey"; Hoffman, Kalsbeek, and Novak, "Internet
Use on the United States"; McGavey, "Latest Nef Study"; MIDS, "Third
MIDS Internet Demographic Survey."
33.
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, "Campaign '96
GefsLowerGrades from
Voters,"
available at
http:/
/www,people-press,org/
postrpt.htm, November 1996,
34.
The Internet posesa unique set of problems in guaranteeing
a
random
sample of respondents. The Web has no central registry of users and
e-mail
addresses to create a sampling frame. Response rates cannot be calculated
because there is no way to know how many individuals may have seen the
survey or its links, but refused fo participate. Because participation is
voluntary, those who choose to complete a cybersurvey may differ from
those who choose not fo participate. Voluntary participants may be more
interested, informed, and concerned about fhe survey topic and typically
hold viewpoints which are stronger and more extreme than other individu-
als.
Thus, results may nof be able to be generalized fo fhe population (Barbara
K, Kaye and Thomas
J,
Johnson, "Taming the Cyber Frontier: Techniques for
Improving Online Surveys" [paper presented fo fhe annual meeting of the
Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research, Chicago, IL 1997J; Wei
Wu and David Weaver, "Online Democracy or Online Demagoguery -
Public Opinion 'Polls' on the Internet,"
Harvard International Journal
of Press/
Pti/i(/cs 2 [fall 1997]: 71-86).
35.
Like ofher surveys, this one suggests the Internet is dominated by
young white males of high education and high socioeconomic status. The
average age in the survey is 31,2 while the gender ratio is 75.5% male and
24,5%
female. Six ouf of ten have a college degree or higher and slightly less
fhan half (45,1%) report an annual income between $25,001-$65,000, Finally,
almost nine out of ten (88.3%)are
white.
Both theonline GVU 7th WWW User
Survey and the FIND/SVP American Internet User study, which was con-
ducted by telephone, found fhaf the average Internet user is in his 30s {35.2
and 36,5 years old respectively) and is male (68,7% in fhe GVU survey and
64,1 %
in the FIND/SVP study). More fhan half (54,2%) of respondents in the
GVU study had a college education or higher and the average income was
$58,000. Finally, the clear majority of respondenfs in both polls identified
themselves as
white.
Finally, our finding that the typical Internet user spends
an average of 13.2 hours on fhe Nef compares favorably wifh recent studies
that put the number at 13.6 ("What's Your Daily Dose?," PC
Magazine,
18
November 1997, 9),
36.
Mark Douglas West, "Validafing a Scale for the Measurement of
Credibility: A Covariance Structure Modeling Approach,"
Journalism
Quar-
terly 7\ (spring 1994): 159-68,
37.
Cecilie Gaziano and Kristin McGrath, "Measuring the Concept of
Credibility,"
Journalism Quarterly 63
(autumn 1986): 451-62,
38.
Philip Meyer, "Defining and Measuring Credibilify of Newspapers:
Developing an Index," journalism Quarterly 65 (fall 1988): 567-74, 588; John
Newhagen and Clifford Nass, "Differential Criteria for Evaluating Credibil-
ity of Newspapers and TV News,"
jouriialisin
Quarterly 66 (summer 1989):
277-284; Gaziano and McGrath, "Measuring the Concept of Credibility;"
West, "Validating a Scale for the Measurement of Credibility,"
CRUISINCIS BEUEVIUC?:
CoMFAJiiNcimEiWETAND
TRAomoNAL
SOURCES ON MI : 'M Cn i
<u:i<
en MEASURES 339
while this study employed measures that have been used in past
studies (i.e., believability, fairness, accuracy, and depth), question wordings
were not always identical to previous research.
39.
Wanta and Hu, "The Effects of Credibility"; Rimmer and Weaver,
"Different Questions, Different Answers?"; Westley and Severin, "Some
Correlates of Media Credibility"; Carter and Greenberg, "Newspapers or
Television"; Greenberg, "Media Use and Believability"; American Society
of
Newspaper Editors, Building
Reader
Trust.
40.
Wanta and Hu, "Effects of Credibility"; Rimmer and Weaver, "Differ-
ent Questions/'
41.
Mulder, "A Log-Linear Analysis"; American Society of Newspaper
Editors,
Newspaper
CredihUity;
Times Mirror,
The
People
& the
Press;
Whitney,
The
Media
and the
People;
Carter and Greenberg, "Which Do You Believe?";
Greenberg, "Media Use and Believability"; Westley and Severin, "Some
Correlates of Media Credibility."
42.
Respondents were asked to record their age on their last birthday.
They were also asked what is the highest grade or year in school they have
completed (less than high school, high school grad, some college, four year
college degree, master's degree, Ph.D. degree, other) and to estimate their
annual income for 1996(less than 10,000,10,001-25,000,25,001-40,000,40,001-
65,000, 65,001-80,000, 80,001-95,000, more than 95,000).
43.
Eliminating the "don't knows" as well as the missing values, however,
significantly reduced the sample size for several variables, particularly
online media. For instance, 168 people rated the credibility of online
magazines and just more than 200 judged credibility for online candidate
literature and online issue sources and 232 people rated the credibility of
online newspapers. Among traditionally-delivered sources, eliminating don't
knows and missing values reduced the sample size from 235 for issue-
oriented sources to 297 for newspaper ones.
44.
John Perry Barlow, "The Netizcn: The Powers That Were,"
Wired,
September 1996, 53-56,196-199.
45.
Thomas
J.
Johnson and Barbara K. Kaye, "A Vehicle for Engagement
or a Haven for the Disaffected?: Internet Use, Political Alienation and Voter
Participation," in Engaging the
Public:
How the Government and Media Can
Keinvigorate American
Deinocraci/,
ed. Thomas
J.
Johnson, Carol E. Hays, and
Scott
P.
Hays (Lanham,
MD:
Rowman
&
Littlefield, 1998); Kevin
A.
Hill and
John E. Hughes,
Cvberpolitics:
CitizcJi Actiznsm in the Age of the Internet
(Lanham, MD: Rowman
&
Littlefield,
1998);
Jon Katz, "The Digital Citizen,"
Wired,
December 1997, 68-82, 274-75.
46.
Wanta and Hu, "The Effects of Credibility."
47.
Rimmer and Weaver, "Different Questions, Different Answers?"
340
JOURNALISM
S>
MASS COMAUNKUOKIH
... The television advantage is its credibility, being the government's official source of information (Miller & Kurpius, 2010), with trained journalists (Gaziano & McGrath, 1986). Past research has also confirmed the relationship between media credibility and its use (Johnson & Kaye, 1998). This study utilized the Vosviewer software to analyze papers from the Scopus database on the subject of a television -SNS multiplatform identity credibility, building a systematic review, forging the path to analyze the possibility of an effective eco-system, where traditional media as television co-exist with the new media as SNS. ...
... Media credibility is a crucial factor in the field of research, for its close relationship with media motivation and media reliance that one can predict the other (Johnson & Kaye, 2010Kim & Johnson, 2009;Wanta & Hu, 1994). As stated by Johnson & Kaye (1998), the customers only choose the media that they perceive as credible. ...
... With the appearance of many new types of medium, the responsibility to assess the information's credibility now rest on the media consumer's shoulder. This trend in the media environment has pushed scholars to move their subject on the news source and new medium credibility, the web-based media as website, blogs, social media ( (3) exploring the correlation between media credibility and its use (Carter & Greenberg, 1965;Johnson & Kaye, 1998;Wanta & Hu, 1994). However, these directions lack in explanation for a recent case, a multiplatform/multichannel identity; for example, today's television channel/station has made its appearance on SNS (e.g., having its fan page, building its social media channel, creating its news website, and developed a smartphone app). ...
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... They are actively involved in social media sites to contribute, post, search and consume information (Fulton and Kibby, 2017). According to Johnson and Kaye (1998), millennials consider that the information obtained from online sources to be credible. This study refers to the quality of information as the millennial generations' perception of the quality of information presented on social media. ...
... Several previous studies affirm our findings. For example, Johnson and Kaye (1998) stated that the majority of millennials believe that information obtained from online sources is credible. Filieri et al. (2015) stated that information quality has the most relevant impact on fostering trust in online interactions. ...
... Our findings imply that political marketing activities through social media are believed to be able to create intense communication between politicians and citizens. Communication through virtual media is deemed to be an effective form of Web-based political involvement (Valenzuela et al., 2012), by providing credible information sources (Johnson and Kaye, 1998). It should be noted that the b value coefficient on the relationship between social media political marketing activities and trust is the highest value among all the tested relationships; and this fact shows that social media political marketing activities construct is proven to be valid in assessing trust and political involvement. ...
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Purpose This study aims to examine the relationship of information quality of social media, social media reputation, social media political marketing activities, trust and political involvement of millennials. Methodology The empirical analysis was conducted using a sample of 309 millennials. This study used online survey for the data collection. After passing reliability and validity tests, the data were analyzed with partial least squares structural equation modeling. Findings The results show that information quality of social media has positive and significant direct influence on reputation and trust. Information quality of social media also has a significant indirect influence on trust through social media reputation. However, there is no significant relationship between information quality and political involvement. Social media political marketing activities also have a direct and indirect significant effect on political involvement through trust. Finally, trust also has a positive and significant impact on political involvement. Practical implications This research may contribute to the political marketing experts and politicians in increasing the quality and credibility of advertisements on social media, which will affect trust and political involvement of millennial generation. Moreover, politicians and political marketing experts who have an online-based community should optimize their marketing activities in social media to encourage positive behavior and trust from social media users. Value This study has shown a more comprehensive model of the relationship between information quality of social media and political involvement. This study also reveals the significant indirect effect of the trust on the relationship between information quality on social media, social media political marketing activities and political involvement.
... From the view of information recipients, media exposure reflects how the audience receives information through various media, and media credibility shows how the audience comments on the received information. Furthermore, several studies have suggested that media exposure positively and significantly impacts media credibility [48][49][50]. Therefore, the audience's media exposure should also affect media credibility regarding influenza prevention. ...
... This study showed that media exposure has a significantly positive influence on the public assessment of media credibility. Previous research also supported this finding and enhanced the significant role of credible media exposure in influenza vaccination promotion [48][49][50]. Increased exposure of the public to media allowed audiences to have the ability to assess influenza prevention information. With the assessment, the public built trust in certain media, which further influenced their preference in preventing influenza. ...
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... In sum, an HMP approach expects that people with strong preexisting attitudes on an issue will perceive mass media about that issue as biased against their preexisting views and, in turn, less credible (Arpan & Raney, 2003;Johnson & Kaye, 1998). In addition, HMP predicts that these people will perceive media arguments that support their preexisting positions as weaker and arguments in these media that oppose their preexisting positions as stronger (Arpan & Raney, 2003;Matheson & Dursun, 2001). ...
... Giner-Sorolla & Chaiken, 1994;Gunther & Liebhart, 2006). Both explanations imply an element of trust when it comes to how a message source shapes bias and credibility perceptions (Tsfati & Cohen, 2005. When people trust its source, a message's content can appear less biased and more credible (Giffin, 1967;Gunther et al., 2009;Hovland & Weiss, 1951;T. J. Johnson & Kaye, 1998;Kiousis, 2001;Metzger & Flanagin, 2013;Pornpitakpan, 2004). ...
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... Mistrust of media may lead to non-consumption and inattention (Lee, 2010). When people do not trust information from the media, it is less likely that they will pay attention to them (Johnson and Kaye, 1998). There is the decline of trust in public sectors although trust is considered an important variable in media consumption (Cook and Gronke, 2001;Holmes, 2009). ...
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