MEDIA TRUST IN CHINA: EXPOSURE TO INFORMATION, COGNITIVE CONSISTENCY, AND KNOWLEDGE GAP
1 online resource (58 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This research examines media trust in China in the new Internet era. Cognitive consistency model and the model of knowledge gap and media trust are employed to explain the public trust in different sources of media. According to the cognitive consistency model, people are more likely to trust a specific media source if it is the only information source for them, while access to alternative information sources may result in lower trust in the original source. The Internet provides an alternative information source to the Chinese domestic mainstream media due to its openness and efficiency in spreading information. The model of knowledge gap and media trust argues that highly educated people are less likely to be affected by the Internet, while people with less education are more affected by the Internet. Less-educated people are less likely to trust the domestic mainstream media and more likely to trust foreign media when they use the Internet. Through separate analysis of data from urban and rural subsample, I report the factors that affect public trust in media and how these factors work in China. Overall, both urban and rural residents who use the Internet are less likely to trust the domestic mainstream media, and are more likely to trust foreign media. However, this influence is only significant among less-educated people. Additionally, in the case study of China, people are also educated in the process of facing divergent information from different media sources. The results confirm the prediction of the cognitive consistency model and the model of knowledge gap and media trust.
Moller, StephanieCao, YangFitzgerald, Scott
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2018.
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