Belo Interactive, in conjunction with the Associated Press Managing Editors and the Ford Foundation, recently conducted an online news survey on the credibility of online news sources. Questions were prepared by Southern Methodist University professors Chris Peck and Camille Kraeplin.
A total of 1,649 people voluntarily participated in the non-scientific survey after accessing it through links from the front pages of four Belo-operated Web sites: The Dallas Morning News; WFAA-TV; Texas Cable News; and The Denton Record-Chronicle.
In a story summarizing the findings, they note: “The online survey is qualitative only and not a scientific representation of Dallas Web site usersí views. However, the survey results mirror the views of most Dallas Web site users who recently responded to a scientific survey conducted by a marketing and research firm on behalf of Belo Interactive.”
Interesting key findings
It’s worth noting that some Belo Interactive sites are plagued with pop up ads. When we went to the Texas Cable News web site, we got three pop up ads — one for a marketing survey, one that’s editorial content “Today in Texas History”, and one advertisement. It should be interesting to see if they are willing to take the revenue hit in exchange for increased perceived credibility.
• The Stanford Web Credibility Project, Ongoing research
• ONA Digital Journalism Credibility Study, January 2002. Also see: Poynter article
• The Credibility of Newspapers, Television News and Online Newspapersby University of Miami School of Communication, February 2002. Also see: Additional studies on Computers and News
• An Educators’ Guide to Credibility and Web Evaluation, University of Illinois, Spring, 1999. Also: 2002 Addendum.