Is media becoming less and less credible? The question presupposes that media, taken in its singular collective form to include all types of information exchange or vehicles known and available to man, has had its presumed level of credibility. …
Media credibility is the condition of believability or acceptance of its truthfulness or untruthfulness from the point of view of its audience (Starcks and Salwen, 2009), and may be expressed as a level or percentage of acceptance as in number of respondents answering in the affirmative or negative. For purposes of this paper and to enable an adventure into the pros and cons of the thesis statement, media shall be deemed to enjoy some reasonable acceptance by its publics, given that it has enjoyed public viewing since time unknown. Hence, the question: Is media becoming less and less credible?
Recently, CBS News released the results of a survey by Pew Research Center for the People and the Press of people’s perception of media taken sometime in 2009 (CBSNews, 2009). The survey indicated that nearly two-thirds of Americans think that the news stories that they read, hear and watch are frequently inaccurate (CBSNews, 2009). The Center described these results as the highest level of skepticism ever recorded since 1985 when the first study was conducted.
Other studies such as this would be presented in this paper to provide a wide-angle picture of the issue of credibility in media. It is the purpose of this paper to take this closer look at media in its most common forms and analyse critically the trend it is taking insofar as its acceptability to the public is concerned. The paper shall present secondary information to support its thesis regarding this media direction and provide some observations and conclusions that may add insight and value the literature available on the matter. Media Credibility What is media and what does it mean to most people? The concept of media traces back to the times old as far back as Aristotle. History is abundant in treatment of the development of media as it captures the essence of life in what is to be known as civilization. Man always looked for vehicles that would translate his ideas and values. In the early times, these representations could be found in the primitive expressions etched in stones and later, as the medium developed, in the traditional media. The theories varied but generally focused on source, message and audience type, and the issue has been the audience’s trust as a result of the audience’s knowing what is true (Stacks and Salwen, 2009). Media, then, according to Mayo and Nohria (2005), pertained largely to its use mostly by advertisers as communication vehicles for ...
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