The decline in social media credibility


The decline in social media credibility

The credibility of social media has been decaying these years. Everyone can be a publisher, the distinction between “media professionals” and “everyone else” seems to be based on the journalistic normative values. These journalistic values may influence the credibility of journalists and the content they provide. In one recent survey asked respondent to rate various types of local and national media for credibility, nearly 25% of the respondents say they believe all or most of what they reported in CNN or The New York Times, and nearly 15%, said they believed nothing about single outlets. It can be seen that media professionals derive much of their credibility from that of media organizations. Thus, professional journalists represent the brand image of the media organizations; in order to increase the credibility of media organizations, and is the key to constantly enhance the authority and the publicity of media institutions.

However, some of media organizations fear of losing both advertising revenue and audiences; they often use the breaking news and gossip to attract audiences. Some experts point out professional ethics and training are the most significant approaches to improve the credibility of news. The professional journalist’s need to make contribution to public discourse by providing timely, meaningful, reliable and factual news.

A survey shows that Hong Kong media’s credibility was declining in the recent years, with 1,208 residents surveyed. The result shows that the believability of Hong Kong media rated 5.9 points out of 10. There are 26 Hong Kong radio, TV station and newspaper dropped in credibility. Although the result neglected to provide a specific analysis for decline; the issue of self-censorship is considered as contemporary challenge in the media industry, especially in communist China. Therefore, news organizations need to ensure their news content is in the public’s interest. After 1997, the self-censorship pressure of Hong Kong media is from Chinese government’s control and regulation, as Hong Kong began to interact with mainland China. In fact, the pressure does not only refer to political pressure. There are many economic factors and cultural factors involved. Hong Kong want to get more investment from the mainland China, so they hold such a political relationship and abide by the Chinese regime for economic benefits.

In recent years, blogs have been doubted as an unbelievable communication medium, as there is no restriction regulations for content production and information sharing. Thus, media professionals may need to reproduce and edit user-generated content and make sure that user-submitted stories meet ethical, legal and quality requirements; meanwhile, providing original content to make contributions to the sites, rather than delivering news content from other websites.

In fact, individual users tend to trust the media institution when they feel a higher level of interactivity. In order to measure blogger credibility, users tend to judge from the following aspects, including reliable, professional, expert and trustworthy (Lim &Yang). As a citizen journalist, how to increase credibility of your personal blog? There are many tips and experiences can share with you. Although multimedia can increase audience’s participation and generate more page views; however, audiences may be confused or suspicions about multimedia. It is difficult to choose the information from a wide range of news and some media organizations even providing access to alternative source, which may reduce the reader’s trust level.

Thus, if you use a variety forms of media to attract the reader’s attention; you should consider whether the content can be understood by the reader? Whether the content can increase the credibility and engagement? In addition, you can show there is a real organization behind your site, such as posting a photo of your office or physical address, which will make it easy to contact with you. Furthermore, personal bloggers need to update their site’s content regularly and make it useful. Another important aspect is to control any promotional content in your personal blog, which may cause the reader’s disgust and aversion. One last point worth mentioning about copyright, creative commons may lead to the intellectual property and privacy issues due to lack of related regulations and laws to protect citizen journalists’ rights; therefore, strict press law and quality education are essential to build a healthy network platform.


“Hong Kong Media’s Credibility Declines”, online available:

Wilson. Jason A. And Saunders, Barry J. and Bruns, Axel(2008) “preditors”: Making Citizen Journalism Work. Citizen Journalism and Social Change, 26-28 March 2008, Brisbane



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