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Perceived Credibility of Mainstream Newspapers and Facebook
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Credibility in Newspapers and Facebook 13 No significant differences were found between the perceived credibility of the two sources in terms of trustworthiness, believability, reliability, honesty, accuracy, value, lack of bias, and the degree to which the story was interesting. There were also no significant differences found between the way participants assessed the two sources in terms of two general-interest indices, represented by questions asking whether they would forward the story to a friend, and whether they found the news story to be important to their lives. Reliability tests for also performed for the combined 11 credibility statements as well as the combined 6 general interest statements (see Table 2). Discussion This study was prompted by shifting perceptions of newspaper credibility as mainstream media outlets have entered the online world. As predicted, news from the mainstream news site was generally perceived as more credible than stories forwarded by a Facebook friend, but there was only statistical significance in 3 of the 11 indices of credibility: In the majority of indices, there was no significant difference in perceived credibility. These results suggest potentially important changes in the way readers perceive credibility of news in the Internet age where the audience is taking a more active role in media distribution via social networks. The perceived professionalism and authority of the New York Times appears to remain strong, as evidenced by our findings that the difference between the ratings of the Times story and the story forwarded by a Facebook friend were statistically significant for both indices even at the .01 confidence level. However, other findings suggest that the acknowledgement of professionalism or authority is not enough to ensure that a mainstream newspaper’s perceived credibility will translate to other standards that remain important to professional news outlets.

Authors: Nynka, Andrew. and McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Credibility in Newspapers and Facebook                      13 
    No significant differences were found between the perceived credibility of the two sources in 
terms of trustworthiness, believability, reliability, honesty, accuracy, value, lack of bias, and the 
degree to which the story was interesting. There were also no significant differences found 
between the way participants assessed the two sources in terms of two general-interest indices, 
represented by questions asking whether they would forward the story to a friend, and whether 
they found the news story to be important to their lives.  
     Reliability tests for also performed for the combined 11 credibility statements as well as the 
combined 6 general interest statements (see Table 2). 
     This study was prompted by shifting perceptions of newspaper credibility as mainstream 
media outlets have entered the online world. As predicted, news from the mainstream news site 
was generally perceived as more credible than stories forwarded by a Facebook friend, but there 
was only statistical significance in 3 of the 11 indices of credibility: In the majority of indices, 
there was no significant difference in perceived credibility.   
     These results suggest potentially important changes in the way readers perceive credibility of 
news in the Internet age where the audience is taking a more active role in media distribution via 
social networks. The perceived professionalism and authority of the New York Times appears to 
remain strong, as evidenced by our findings that the difference between the ratings of the Times 
story and the story forwarded by a Facebook friend were statistically significant for both indices 
even at the .01 confidence level. However, other findings suggest that the acknowledgement of 
professionalism or authority is not enough to ensure that a mainstream newspaper’s perceived 
credibility will translate to other standards that remain important to professional news outlets. 

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