Kristin Van Damme presenting at Future of Journalism

14-09-2017 09:00 to 15-09-2017 17:00
Cardiff University, Cardiff (UK)
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Reseacher Kristin Van Damme will present at the biennial Future of Journalism Conference in Cardiff.

Mict researchers Kristin Van Damme and prof. dr. Sarah Van Leuven will present their paper Legacy media reinforced: Introducing the double trust paradox in news media at the biennial Future of Journalism conference In Cardiff. This year's topic of the conference is “Journalism in a post-truth age?”.



This theoretical paper introduces the double trust paradox, consolidating the position of legacy news media. The first dimension of the paradox relates to trust as an increasingly important filter mechanism in an information-saturated media environment. Trust helps audiences to filter news from an abundance to a manageable news repertoire. However, trust in legacy news media is historically low (Gallup, 2016; Edelman Trust Barometer, 2017). The news production process has accelerated, which leads to inevitable mistakes. Additionally, audiences have a common fear that they are being manipulated (Quandt, 2012), a fear which has recently been fed by the proliferation of fake news. The second dimension of the paradox relates to the increased number of news outlets. People increasingly turn to alternative information sources, which they believe to be more authentic (Quandt, 2012), like blogs or instant messages.

Paradoxically, we noticed in our studies (both qualitative and quantitative) that audiences tend to rely even more on legacy news brands, so that these remain dominant (Starkey, 2013). The explanation of this reinforcement of legacy media seems to be threefold: familiarity, routinized media use and laid-backness of news audiences. First, audiences are familiar with legacy news brands, a necessary pre-condition of trust (Luhmann, 1979), so that when they feel uncertain, they entrust legacy news brands above other outlets. Second, news use is largely routinized (Diddi & LaRose, 2006), advancing legacy media in the audiences’ news choices. Third, audiences are often laid-back and find seeking alternative news too time-consuming (Author, 2017).