Trust-oriented affordances: A five-country study of news trustworthiness and its socio-technical articulations

Tali Aharoni*, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Pablo Boczkowski, Kaori Hayashi, Eugenia Mitchelstein, Mikko Villi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Research on trust has come to the forefront of communication studies. Beyond the dominant focus on informational trust and its country-specific articulations, trustworthiness evaluations can relate to the materiality of news and its global manifestations. Especially in digital algorithmic environments, understanding news trustworthiness requires a holistic approach, which combines informational and socio-technical aspects while addressing both institutional and interpersonal trust. Drawing on 488 in-depth interviews with media consumers in Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the United States, this article investigates news (dis)trust from the lens of socio-materiality. The six trust-oriented affordances we identified—selectivity, interactivity, customization, searchability, information abundance, and immediacy—reveal important socio-technical commonalities that underlie news trust across countries. These affordances, moreover, point to an interplay of trust and self-agency. Taken together, the findings illuminate the lived experience of news trust as manifested across cultures and offer a broader understanding of trustworthiness within current media ecology.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalNew Media and Society
Early online date7 Jun 2022
StateE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Helsingin Sanomat Foundation, JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 17H01833, and the Global Partnership Fund of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Affordances
  • audience studies
  • comparative research
  • in-depth interviews
  • news consumption
  • trust


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