Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



An experiment with 98 participants was conducted to explore the effects of government versus multiple sources on perceived credibility and interest when applied to the same risk stories. It also analyzed the effects of source treatment on participants' assessment of government credibility and source reasonableness. The study investigated the effects of demographic characteristics of participants (age, gender, media use) on the same variables, and tried to determine if there was any statistical correlation between the two dependent variables of credibility and interest. It also analyzed the effects of human-interest reports on credibility and interest. Overall, the study found that participants who read stories with multiple sources (government, industry, expert), perceived the risk stories (two about HIV epidemic, and two about coastal erosion in Louisiana) as more credible and more interesting than the participants who received only government sources. Age appeared to affect the two dependent variables, as well as media use and the anecdotal (human-interest) frame. The study also found that participants liked and believed the health stories more than the environmental stories.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Renita Coleman