The paper focuses on one’s perception of factuality in selected online news media. A group of university students of English were approached and presented with ten statements about Sweden and asked to evaluate their truthfulness. Half of the group (informed respondents) were then advised on the ways media use to infer a narrative onto the reader, potentially influencing the way they view events, while the other half (uninformed respondents) were not made aware of this fact. The respondents were then presented with a news report describing a specific event that took place in Sweden; however, half of each group were asked to read its tabloid description while the other halves were shown the event as reported by a broadsheet (both online). They were then asked to reevaluate the statements they were presented with before and decide whether their opinions changed based on the article they had just read. The results suggest that one is inclined to believe what they read, regardless whether the source seems reliable and whether they are aware of the fact media might manipulate their audiences.
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Richardson, J. E. & Stanyer, J. (2011). Reader opinion in the digital age: Tabloid and broadsheet newspaper websites and the exercise of political voice. Sage. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884911415974