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date: 19 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Citizens’ trust in government, a vital component of any functioning democracy, can be affected by media content, but these media effects depend on numerous factors. This chapter first illustrates the normative significance of political trust, then reviews its various conceptualizations and operationalizations. It reviews the key empirical linkages between media and political trust, focusing on differences in medium, modality, presentation formats, and mechanisms of influence. The relationship between media use and political trust is discussed in light of an evolving landscape – one in which the media are no longer centralized, content consumers also produce messages, and media and politics are inextricably linked. The chapter calls for additional research on the effects of new media and emerging political cultures on political trust.

Keywords: confidence, cynicism, infotainment, malaise, media effects, negativity, new media, political trust, selective exposure, trust in government

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