Research on trust and news tends to focus on professional news (agents, organizations, institutions), ignores the content of news, and takes place during relatively settled times. This article seeks to remedy these gaps by examining how citizens used blogs to make and share news during a natural disaster and its aftermath. It draws on a case study of blogging in the wake of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and examines the perspective of blog users to understand how they built trust in each other and in their shared realities of the recovery and rebuilding periods. It draws on cultural sociology to illustrate how civil and anticivil cultural codes, embodied in culturally specific referents, were drawn upon to construct news messages and messengers, and by extension, trust in each other and a grounded ontological understanding of reality. It argues that the cultural affordances of the blog platform were helpful in users’ ability to build both forms of trust. It concludes with implications for emerging crises of climate change, global pandemics and the mass migration these produce.
Building Trust through Social Media in Times of Crisis: Cultural Persuasion, Citizen News, and the Cultural Affordances of Blogs
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Stephen Ostertag; Building Trust through Social Media in Times of Crisis: Cultural Persuasion, Citizen News, and the Cultural Affordances of Blogs. Global Perspectives 1 February 2021; 2 (1): 24961. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gp.2021.24961
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