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En undersökning om hur dagstidningars varumärke påverkar publikens förtroende

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This study explores how the brand of a newspaper affects the perception of credibility for the content in the article. The idea was to compare a morning paper which the audience generally has a bigger trust in with a tabloid paper that is often perceived as less credible. The study includes articles from the morning paper Dagens Nyheter and the tabloid Aftonbladet.

Large parts of the study are based on previous research on media trust made by Maria Elliot and Oscar Westlund. According to their theories, aspects such as use, knowledge and expectations are factors that can affect trust in general and in media. In addition we also thought that the brand should be amongst these factors and added the expression brand credibility. Our intention was to investigate these aspects to try to find out what it is that affects weather an article is perceived as credible or not.

To do this, we conducted an experiment where 132 participants read an article from Dagens Nyheter or Aftonbladet, either with the brand visible or not. They were asked to answer questions about their media habits and their trust in media. After reading the article they answered questions about the article and whether they perceived it as credible or not.

Unfortunately, our study doesn’t show any clear results. The majority did perceive the content of the articles as credible, regardless of the newspapers´ brand. What we could see was when the brand was visible, people tended to perceive the content of the article as less credible. The results also show that the brands impact was different for Dagens Nyheter and Aftonbladet. Despite the low level of trust in Aftonbladet most of the participants perceived the article from Aftonbladet as credible. Also the majority of the ones who read the article from Dagens Nyheter perceived it as credible. Furthermore, they had a high level of trust in Dagens Nyheter despite low usage.

Also when we examined the factors age and gender we discovered that the brands had different impacts. We could see that younger people tend to have a greater trust in the articles from Aftonbladet, whether the brand was visible or not. For the older participants it was the opposite. They perceived the article as less credible when the brand was visible.

Ellen Ivarson, Emma Holmsen och Julia Fredriksson
Journalist, Journalistikgranskning , vt18
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