What are the impacts of illustrations and publisher brands on readers trust.
Gallup and Knight Foundation just released first results on their experimental platform to measure the impact on trustworthiness of the presence of an image and/or the name of the source.
We’re sharing our takeaways. We strongly recommend the full document for more details and methodology.
“HIGHLIGHT 1: SOURCE LOWERS GENERAL TRUSTWORTHINESS, IMAGE SHOWS NO EFFECT”
An image is worth a thousand words… but that image does not help trustworthiness.
Even more surprising, and a bit scary, knowing the source of content lower trustworthiness.
The perception of a publisher brand has, overall, a negative impact.
“HIGHLIGHT 2: SOURCE ATTRIBUTION LOWERS TRUSTWORTHINESS FOR ONLY SOME NEWS OUTLETS”
This study picked up those 7 news sites to gauge how their political orientation impacts trustworthiness.
“With the key exception of the The New York Times, the results based on this subset of media outlets suggest source cues decrease general trustworthiness of content carried by news outlets, if they are better known and perceived to have a partisan agenda.”
“HIGHLIGHT 3: PARTISANSHIP DRIVES TRUSTWORTHINESS RATINGS WHEN SOURCE IS SHOWN”
We find here the equivalent to the “echo chamber” effect in Social Networks. Agree with who you already agree.
“Partisans rate news stories as more or less trustworthy depending on whether the source is viewed as sympathetic or hostile to their political preferences.”
““BRAND” AFFECTS PERCEIVED TRUSTWORTHINESS MORE THAN INFORMATION INCLUDED IN AN ARTICLE.”
Sounds like a Catch 22, when you re-read this post, doesn’t it?