Hong Kong Newspaper Readership
This study examines the extent to which variances in media exposure influence credibility judgment in an elaboration model focused on the mediating role of current events knowledge and information processing. Contextualized in Hong Kong, we construct a measurement scale ranging from non-users through skimpy scanners and further to avid readers. We separate media credibility perceptions into three categories: public interest, information quality, and cosmopolitan scope. We hypothesize that regular exposure to newspapers leads to high political knowledge and deeply engaged information processing, resulting, paradoxically, in mistrust of the press and low credibility judgment. Analyses of data from a random sample of 441 local Hong Kong residents reveal several interesting findings: 1) Media exposure is positively correlated with political knowledge; 2) High knowledge of local issues induces less cognitive processing; and 3) Knowledge as a surrogate for depth understanding and Information processing as an indicator of mental complexity are inversely related to credibility perceptions. Theoretical and social implications are discussed.