Understanding the Public’s Animosity Toward News Media: Cynicism and Distrust as Related but Distinct Negative Media Perceptions

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Abstract

This study proposes that media distrust and cynicism are two related but distinct perceptions that indicate qualitatively different ways in which audiences relate to news media. To substantiate this, we developed a new instrument to measure media cynicism. Factor analyses showed that the indicators of media distrust and cynicism are not influenced by the same underlying dimension. Structural equation modeling indicated that while distrust appears to be predominately caused by perceived media responsiveness, media cynicism may be susceptible to a wider range of factors.

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Markov, Č., & Min, Y. (2022). Understanding the Public’s Animosity Toward News Media: Cynicism and Distrust as Related but Distinct Negative Media Perceptions. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 99(4), 1099–1125. https://doi.org/10.1177/10776990211061764

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