The origins of media trust in a young democracy
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Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Markov, C. (Čedomir); Min, Y. (Young). "The origins of media trust in a young democracy". Communication & Society. 33 (3), 2020, 67 - 84
Declining trust in news media has often been recognized as one of the major challenges facing modern journalism with potentially detrimental consequences for democratic processes. In this article, we examine the predictive potential of cultural-political and performance factors on public trust in news media in the context of a young democracy. Specifically, we have analyzed to what extent citizens’ populist attitudes and perceptions of journalistic roles relate to the levels of media trust using data from an online survey of Serbian respondents (N = 200). The findings showed that support for populism did not significantly predict trust in news media in general after controlling for relevant factors, most importantly political trust. However, populist attitudes were found to be related to the amount of trust citizens have in distinct types of news media –i.e., those who support populism exhibited less trust in public broadcasters than in online news outlets. The analyses also revealed that the more Serbian citizens perceived news media as being successful at performing interpretive and mobilizing roles, the more trust they placed in the media.

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