Vraga, Emily K., Edgerly, Stephanie, Wang, Bryan M., and Shah, Dhavan V.
Journal of Communication. Oct2011, Vol. 61 Issue 5, p795-815. 21p. 1 Black and White Photograph, 1 Chart, 6 Graphs.
Blogs -- Social aspects, Websites, Journalistic ethics, Information society -- Social aspects, Partisanship, Motivation (Psychology), Journalism & politics -- United States, Political communication -- United States, and Climate change
Changes in the information society, especially the rise of blogs, have refocused attention on questions of media modality, source identification, and motivation in online environments. We manipulate the structure of a blogger's critique on a news story (global vs. interspersed) and the partisan target of the blogger (Democrats vs. Republicans) in an experiment embedded in an online survey. Our results support our expectations: The more difficult story format decreases the ability of less motivated readers to correctly identify the source of their information, without affecting the motivated. These effects of structure on source identification are democratically consequential when people rely on blogs for facts about public affairs without the proper cautionary caveats regarding the credibility of the source. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]