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Perceived Credibility of Mainstream Newspapers and Facebook
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: Credibility in Newspapers and Facebook 7 audience member is “no longer really part of a mass, but is either a member of a self-chosen network or special pubic or an individual” (p. 139). Convergence – print, video and audio – is a crucial part of the new world of media. However, Cardoso (2006) and Castells (2001) both argue that new media is not centered technology per se, but around the networking of individuals. Increasingly, members of the audience are assuming part of the traditional gatekeeping function as they use social network sites to produce content, either through blogs and user-created video, or to simply share news, by posting or passing along links to actual news stories. New hierarchies of influence are emerging in the world of online social networks, according to a study commissioned by the New York Times (Leonhardt, 2011). In this new online world, an entertainer like Lady Gaga is the top person followed on Twitter with 8 million followers, compared to President Barack Obama, the fourth most followed individual, with more than a million less followers; moreover, when taking into account factors such as the retweeting of messages, President Obama’s influence on Twitter lags behind celebrities like Chad Ochocinco, Conan O’Brien, Ryan Seacrest and Snoop Dogg. The issue of perceived credibility and the Internet is generating a wellspring of research. Clearly, the Internet has changed notions of credibility, with one study showing that readers found a non-journalist blog significantly more credible than an online newspaper or a blog produced by a professional journalist (Mackay & Lowrey, 2007). Perceived credibility of the Internet as an information source is predicted by an individual’s use of the Internet (Sundar & Stavrositu, 2006). Yet, online sources still appear to be falling behind traditional print sources in terms of credibility. A survey of politically interested web users during the 2004 presidential election found online media to be moderately credible, rating blogs and online newspapers higher than online broadcast and cable news (Johnson & Kaye, 2010).

Authors: Nynka, Andrew. and McCaffrey, Raymond.
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Running Head: Credibility in Newspapers and Facebook                      7 
audience member is “no longer really part of a mass, but is either a member of a self-chosen 
network or special pubic or an individual” (p. 139).  
     Convergence – print, video and audio – is a crucial part of the new world of media. However, 
Cardoso (2006) and Castells (2001) both argue that new media is not centered technology per se, 
but around the networking of individuals. Increasingly, members of the audience are assuming 
part of the traditional gatekeeping function as they use social network sites to produce content, 
either through blogs and user-created video, or to simply share news, by posting or passing along 
links to actual news stories. New hierarchies of influence are emerging in the world of online 
social networks, according to a study commissioned by the New York Times (Leonhardt, 2011). 
In this new online world, an entertainer like Lady Gaga is the top person followed on Twitter 
with 8 million followers, compared to President Barack Obama, the fourth most followed 
individual, with more than a million less followers; moreover, when taking into account factors 
such as the retweeting of messages, President Obama’s influence on Twitter lags behind 
celebrities like Chad Ochocinco, Conan O’Brien, Ryan Seacrest and Snoop Dogg. 
     The issue of perceived credibility and the Internet is generating a wellspring of research. 
Clearly, the Internet has changed notions of credibility, with one study showing that readers 
found a non-journalist blog significantly more credible than an online newspaper or a blog 
produced by a professional journalist (Mackay & Lowrey, 2007). Perceived credibility of the 
Internet as an information source is predicted by an individual’s use of the Internet (Sundar & 
Stavrositu, 2006). Yet, online sources still appear to be falling behind traditional print sources in 
terms of credibility. A survey of politically interested web users during the 2004 presidential 
election found online media to be moderately credible, rating blogs and online newspapers 
higher than online broadcast and cable news (Johnson & Kaye, 2010).

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