Title page for ETD etd-04132005-115008

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cozma, Raluca
Author's Email Address rcozma1@lsu.edu
URN etd-04132005-115008
Title Risk Reporting and Source Credibility: Trying to Make the Readers Interested
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Renita Coleman Committee Chair
Lisa Lundy Committee Member
Margaret DeFleur Committee Member
  • health
  • interest
  • credibility
  • sources
  • environment
Date of Defense 2005-04-08
Availability unrestricted
An experiment with 98 participants was conducted to explore the effects of government versus multiple sources on perceived credibility and interest when applied to the same risk stories. It also analyzed the effects of source treatment on participants' assessment of government credibility and source reasonableness. The study investigated the effects of demographic characteristics of participants (age, gender, media use) on the same variables, and tried to determine if there was any statistical correlation between the two dependent variables of credibility and interest. It also analyzed the effects of human-interest reports on credibility and interest.

Overall, the study found that participants who read stories with multiple sources (government, industry, expert), perceived the risk stories (two about HIV epidemic, and two about coastal erosion in Louisiana) as more credible and more interesting than the participants who received only government sources. Age appeared to affect the two dependent variables, as well as media use and the anecdotal (human-interest) frame. The study also found that participants liked and believed the health stories more than the environmental stories.

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