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Equal Trust: An Experiment Exploring the Impact of Interactivity and Sources on Individuals' Perceptions of Credibility for Online News Stories
Unformatted Document Text:  7 logic to the processing of online information, we can conjecture that users who "participate" by using multimedia content as opposed to those "observing" it will exhibit higher levels of perceived credibility. Source Many scholars claim that fundamental concepts in communication deserve major reconsideration given the rising significance of online media (Williams et al., 1988; Rice & Williams, 1984; Pavlik, 1996; Rafaeli & Sudweeks, 1997), including the concept of source. Although source has always been a core concept in communication, explicit definitions are scarce, and those that are available typically vary about what the term means. According to the Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1989), a source is "one that supplies information," but also refers to "a point of origin or procurement" and "one that initiates" (pp. 1127). Traditionally, sources are defined as senders of messages (e.g., Duncan, 2002), but as Sundar and Nass (2001) point out, "it could even refer to the message, or channel, depending upon who or what is perceived by the receiver to be the source of the communication" (pp. 53). With respect to news stories, Gans (1979) asserts that sources are "the actors whom journalists observe or interview, including interviewees who appear on the air or who are quoted in magazine articles, and those who only supply background information or story suggestions" (pp. 80). As a consequence, simplistic definitions of source as a single person, group, or organization no longer suffice in the world of computer-mediated communication. To deal with such technological changes, Sundar and Nass (2001) produce a useful typology of communication sources: (1) visible sources (e.g., news anchors), (2) technological sources (e.g., a radio or computer), and (3) receiver sources (e.g., self and audience

Authors: Kiousis, Spiro.
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7
logic to the processing of online information, we can conjecture that users who
"participate" by using multimedia content as opposed to those "observing" it will exhibit
higher levels of perceived credibility.
Source
Many scholars claim that fundamental concepts in communication deserve major
reconsideration given the rising significance of online media (Williams et al., 1988; Rice
& Williams, 1984; Pavlik, 1996; Rafaeli & Sudweeks, 1997), including the concept of
source. Although source has always been a core concept in communication, explicit
definitions are scarce, and those that are available typically vary about what the term
means. According to the Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1989), a source is
"one that supplies information," but also refers to "a point of origin or procurement" and
"one that initiates" (pp. 1127). Traditionally, sources are defined as senders of messages
(e.g., Duncan, 2002), but as Sundar and Nass (2001) point out, "it could even refer to the
message, or channel, depending upon who or what is perceived by the receiver to be the
source of the communication" (pp. 53). With respect to news stories, Gans (1979) asserts
that sources are "the actors whom journalists observe or interview, including interviewees
who appear on the air or who are quoted in magazine articles, and those who only supply
background information or story suggestions" (pp. 80).
As a consequence, simplistic definitions of source as a single person, group, or
organization no longer suffice in the world of computer-mediated communication. To
deal with such technological changes, Sundar and Nass (2001) produce a useful typology
of communication sources: (1) visible sources (e.g., news anchors), (2) technological
sources (e.g., a radio or computer), and (3) receiver sources (e.g., self and audience


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