In the Internet We Trust: The Impact of Engaging with News Articles

Gallup Foundation, ; Knight Foundation,

The digital age has created easy access to mass amounts of quickly changing news that people can share, discuss and research within online communities. These abilities have contributed to the spread of misinformation — accidentally or otherwise — making the spread of misleading or inaccurate news a topic of interest for researchers, policymakers and the public at large.
Gallup and Knight Foundation completed an experiment to explore two prominent forms of digital engagement with the news — sharing the story and conducting internet-based research related to the story — and how these activities relate to trust in media. These two forms of engagement may be seen by some as counteracting behaviors. Sharing has the power to spread misinformation, while conducting instant research is, theoretically, one way people can quickly identify questionable news stories and therefore, perhaps, not pass them on.