Establishing trust in experts during a crisis: expert trustworthiness and media use during the COVID-19 pandemic
Existing research on factors informing public perceptions of expert trustworthiness was largely conducted during stable periods, and in long-established Western liberal democracies. This paper asks whether the same factors apply during a major health crisis, and in relatively new democracies. Drawing on 120 interviews and diaries conducted during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Serbia, we identify two additional factors not acknowledged in existing research, namely personal contact with experts and experts’ independence from political elites. We also examine how different factors interact and show how distrust of experts can lead to exposure to online misinformation.
The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Polarization and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
Economic and Social Research CouncilFind out more...
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Communication and Media
Published inScience Communication
Pages292 - 319
- VoR (Version of Record)
Rights holder© The Authors
Publisher statementThis is an Open Access Article. It is published by SAGE Publications Publications under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/