Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Journalism and Mass Communications, Under the Supervision of Professor Laurie Thomas Lee. Lincoln, Nebraska: August 2011

Copyright 2011 Soo Hui Lee


Media polls reveal that trust in news media has been on the decline in recent years and so is the consumption of news. This quantitative study reveals no significant correlation between overall trust and use of news media. It finds that college students have more trust in traditional news sources and view TV as their most important news source. Yet they are more likely to seek out a future news event from online news sources, despite having less trust in them. Results indicate that social media sources, such as Facebook and Twitter, are used as frequent sources for news and the correlations between trust and use of social media sources for news are generally stronger than those of other news sources. This study suggests that news outlet may seek to gain more users of this demographic not by (re-)gaining their trust but by diversifying their news content so that it is more easily accessible and consumable by college students.