Media Credibility In Social Media

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1.0 Introduction The question relating to perceptions of media credibility has been a recurring issue in mass communication scholarship since the mid 20th century. Hovland and Weiss (1951) concentrated on dimensions of source credibility, while Rimmer and Weaver (1987) highlighted variations in credibility perceptions of different channels, whereas Westley and Severin (1964) conducted the first comprehensive analysis of news credibility across media outlets. In their classic study, the authors noted that certain demographic variables, i.e. age, education, and gender mediate people’s perceptions of news credibility. The measurement of media credibility has been inconsistent and different operationalization of this construct has led to discrepancies…show more content…
Social media are Internet sites that allow users to interact freely, sharing and discussing information through multiple platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, WordPress etc. These social tools give people the ability to communicate with each other on a scale and in ways that they can’t with traditional media. The means for any person to publish digital and creative content, provide and obtain real-time feedback via online discussions, commentary and evaluations (Dykeman, 2008, p.1). Thus far, users can create the content easily using digital media tools, Marshall McLuhan once remarked, the content of a new medium usually is built on and expands from the content of an older medium. Therefore, social media freely borrows from traditional media to create new content, which in turn frequently muddles the ownership of intellectual…show more content…
They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power, because they control the minds of masses (Malcolm, 1960). Media affects people’s perceptions and priorities, also their thinking about the particular contents. Media shapes the public’s behavior about the issues and plays vital role in highlighting certain issues (Bresson, 1999). According to Festinger (1957), selective exposure and avoidance influence the credibility of news, which asserts that when individuals are exposed to information or events that are inconsistent with their own beliefs, it causes a state of discomfort or dissonance. Ultimately, selective exposure means that readers search for information that supports their beliefs while for selective avoidance, users actively avoiding information that challenges their views, are psychological mechanisms used to reduce feelings of dissonance (Festinger, 1957). In the same vein, Hill (2003) interpreted eight factors in determining the credibility of news – fairness and objectivity, misrepresentation by reporters, economic pressure, privacy versus the public rights to know, conflicts of interest, anonymous sources, gift, as well as compassion versus

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