Date of Award
Master of Science
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
This study sought to determine Chinese young people's perceptions of the credibility of traditional and online news media as conveyors of national political information. It also examined whether urban and rural residents as well as members and non-members of the Communist Party and/or the Communist Youth League differ in their assessments of the credibility of these two types of information sources. The study also assessed the impact of media platform, place of residence, and Party/League membership on perceptions of source credibility given the intervening influence of exposure and attention to news, political involvement, and attitude toward politics. Data were gathered from an online survey of a non-probability sample of college students in China.
The results show that students relied on micro-blogs the most, followed by non-social networking sites, social networking sites, and television. The respondents also rated the online media more credible than their traditional counterparts. Students from rural areas did not differ from urban residents in how they assessed the credibility of both platforms. However, a significant difference was found between Youth League members and non-members and between Party members and non-members in how they rated online media credibility. The preferred media platform, place of residence, and Party/League membership did not significantly influence credibility perceptions after controlling for the influence of exposure and attention to political news, political involvement, and attitude toward politics. Only individual characteristics related to politics, namely political involvement and attitude toward politics, were found to be significant antecedents of online credibility ratings.
Shan, Chenyan, "The sources young people trust: The credibility ratings of sources of national political news in China" (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 13084.