Can generalised trust in news media change media exposure patterns?
Sammanfattning: The question of how trust in news media relates to news media exposure patterns attracts considerable attention from both scholars and society in general. Many previous studies have found that trust in news media positively relates to mainstream media exposure and negatively relates to non-mainstream media exposure, including online and social media news. Current empirical studies have also reported that some intentional news avoiders express distrust of news media. Finally, there is some compelling evidence that people tend to show observable preferences for attitude-consistent versus counter-attitudinal information. Taking all of these research streams into account, the warnings that low trust in news media can lead to news avoidance, insufficient preparedness for elections or referendums, increased belief of misinformation in the online environment, incompatible knowledge about political issues and more radical, one-sided opinions appear plausible.This study provides insights to further address three research problems connected to the investigation of the relationship between trust in news media and media exposure patterns. First of all, previous studies have suggested that there is a positive relationship between trust in news media and exposure to mainstream news media and a negative relationship between trust in news media and exposure to mainstream news media alternatives, including online or social media. However, they have not investigated or shown whether some mainstream news media sources suffer more from low trust in news media than others and what the differences are among mainstream news media alternatives. Secondly, previous studies have not paid much attention to news avoidance as a possible consequence of low trust in news media. Thirdly, ideological selective exposure has been insufficiently investigated in different media systems. Thus, it is unclear whether trust in news media relates only to exposure to attitude-consistentalternative political media or exposure to both attitude-consistent and counter-attitudinal alternative political media.
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