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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Media Trust and the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of Short-Term Trust Changes, Their Ideological Drivers and Consequences in Switzerland
Organization Unit
  • Silke Adam
  • Aleksandra Urman
  • Dorothee Arlt
  • Teresa Gil-Lopez
  • Mykola Makhortykh
  • Michaela Maier
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Communication Research
Publisher Sage Publications
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0093-6502
Volume 50
Number 2
Page Range 205 - 229
Date 2023
Abstract Text We analyze short-term media trust changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, their ideological drivers and consequences based on panel data in German-speaking Switzerland. We thereby differentiate trust in political information from different types of traditional and non-traditional media. COVID-19 serves as a natural experiment, in which citizens’ media trust at the outbreak of the crisis is compared with the same variables after the severe lockdown measures were lifted. Our data reveal that (1) media trust is consequential as it is associated with people’s willingness to follow Covid-19 regulations; (2) media trust changes during the pandemic, with trust levels for most media decreasing, with the exception of public service broadcasting; (3) trust losses are hardly connected to ideological divides in Switzerland. Our findings highlight that public service broadcasting plays an exceptional role in the fight against a pandemic and that contrary to the US, no partisan trust divide occurs.
Digital Object Identifier 10.1177/00936502221127484
Other Identification Number merlin-id:22964
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Keywords Linguistics and Language, Language and Linguistics, Communication