Trust in News Media: Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Scale

  • Jörg M
  • Kohring M
  • Matthes J
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Abstract

The dimensions that individuals apply in evaluating the trustworthiness or credibility of news media bear great theoretical and practical relevance. In previous research, however, there is no standardized scale for the measurement of trust in news media. Thus, the purpose of this article is to present the development and validation of a multidimensional scale of trust in news media. A theoretically derived model is tested on a representative sample via confirmatory factor analysis. After some modifications, the model is then validated on another independent sample. These results confirm the hypothesis that trust in news media can be considered a hierarchical factor (of second order) that consists of four lower order factors, including trust in the selectivity of topics, trust in the selectivity of facts, trust in the accuracy of depictions, and trust in journalistic assessment. This model is the first validated scale of trust in news media in communication research.

Author-supplied keywords

  • confirmatory factor analysis
  • credibility
  • scale development
  • trust in media

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Authors

  • Matthes Jörg

  • Matthias Kohring

  • Jörg Matthes

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