chapter  14
17 Pages

What Does It Mean to Trust the Media?


What does it mean when people say that they trust or do not trust the media? Additionally, we ask what is so important about this question? In this chapter we suggest that the audiences’ trust in media must be conceptually re-considered. If we want to observe how the trust of European audiences is changing, we fi rst need a systematic understanding of how trust is constructed in various instances of the communication chain. These processes are a key condition for functioning democracy. Trust plays a vital role in almost every human interaction, not only in media-recipient relationships: it is an important basis for social order and a foundation for social cohesion; and it is a prerequisite for a functioning society (Misztal 1996; Kohring and Matthes 2007; Jackob 2010).