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Perceived Credibility of Mainstream Newspapers and Facebook
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Credibility in Newspapers and Facebook 17 trustworthiness, and accuracy appear to be no longer automatically associated with that brand in the Internet age. The implications could be profound for newspapers trying to survive in the Internet age. For years newspapers have conducted readership surveys in an attempt to find what kind of news readers wanted. At the very least, this study suggests new kinds of questions to ask those readers. On another level, it suggests that newspapers might need to reassess their relationship with those readers, a relationship in which they are both senders and receivers of information. In this sense, those readers become more than subscribers, but agents of these outlets – the more that the news speaks to them, the more they may be willing to forward it to others. To some extent, the implications may apply to online content, in which newspaper sites are not simply designed as a destination site, but more as a product that enables the users to take that product and participate in the distribution process. And in that sense the credibility of the readers becomes the credibility of the newspaper. Do they distinguish between the credibility of professional outlets from citizen blogs and other output? And what role do social networks play in this process of assessing credibility? If an individual is assessing the credibility of a story posted on a social-network site, what exactly is he or she evaluating: the publication that produced the story – or the person that posted it? In other words, what is the importance of audience in this process? However, it is unclear what researchers and, perhaps more importantly, mainstream news outlets can take away from the findings. On one hand, the Facebook friends may just be adept at selecting what their friends enjoy the most – not exactly the normative role of a newspaper in a Democratic society. On the other hand, mainstream news outlets could look to the findings as a

Authors: Nynka, Andrew. and McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Credibility in Newspapers and Facebook                      17 
 
 
trustworthiness, and accuracy appear to be no longer automatically associated with that brand in 
the Internet age.  
     The implications could be profound for newspapers trying to survive in the Internet age. For 
years newspapers have conducted readership surveys in an attempt to find what kind of news 
readers wanted. At the very least, this study suggests new kinds of questions to ask those readers. 
On another level, it suggests that newspapers might need to reassess their relationship with those 
readers, a relationship in which they are both senders and receivers of information. In this sense, 
those readers become more than subscribers, but agents of these outlets – the more that the news 
speaks to them, the more they may be willing to forward it to others. To some extent, the 
implications may apply to online content, in which newspaper sites are not simply designed as a 
destination site, but more as a product that enables the users to take that product and participate 
in the distribution process. And in that sense the credibility of the readers becomes the credibility 
of the newspaper.         
     Do they distinguish between the credibility of professional outlets from citizen blogs and 
other output? And what role do social networks play in this process of assessing credibility? If an 
individual is assessing the credibility of a story posted on a social-network site, what exactly is 
he or she evaluating: the publication that produced the story – or the person that posted it? In 
other words, what is the importance of audience in this process?  
     However, it is unclear what researchers and, perhaps more importantly, mainstream news 
outlets can take away from the findings. On one hand, the Facebook friends may just be adept at 
selecting what their friends enjoy the most – not exactly the normative role of a newspaper in a 
Democratic society. On the other hand, mainstream news outlets could look to the findings as a 


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