The effects of culture and performance on trust in news media in post-Communist Eastern Europe

Pjesivac, Ivanka. (2016). The effects of culture and performance on trust in news media in post-Communist Eastern Europe: The case of Serbia. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1177/1077699016674185

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Abstract: This study tested the influences of cultural and performance factors on trust in news media in Serbia by conducting a survey on a stratified random sample of the Serbian population (N=544). The results show that both factors played a significant role, but that the performance explanation, measured as perception of news media corruption, was slightly more powerful than the cultural explanation, measured as generalized trust, when controlling for the effects of 10 other variables. Age, education and political party affiliation did not moderate the relationship between generalized trust and trust in news media. The results also showed that more than 20 years after the fall of Communism in Serbia, the levels of trust in news media and generalized trust remain low, while the perceptions of news media corruption reached extremely high levels. Before testing cultural and performance theories, the meanings of three main variables were explored, by conducting 20 in-depth interviews on a separate sample of the Serbian population. The study was partially supported by W.K. McClure Scholarship for the Study of World Affairs. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Ivanka Pjesivac 

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