Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


T. Makana Chock

Second Advisor

Frank A. Biocca


Artificial Intelligence, CASA, Credibility, Distrust, Machine Journalism, Trust

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The current study investigated the effect of machine-generated journalism. Specifically, the effect of machine journalism compared to human journalist on the perceptions of credibility and distrust for news articles on controversial topics was explored. To further extend the well- established theories of credibility in journalism, this study introduced the concept of distrust as a construct that is distinct from credibility or trust. The relationship between trust and hostile media effect was explored. Finally, this study investigated if trust and hostile media effect are related to the perception of fake news. The results show that distrust was indeed distinct from credibility or trust in journalism context not only at a measurement level but also in terms of its effects on other constructs; trust and credibility lacked discriminant validity, suggesting the two are measuring similar psychological constructs; machines were perceived to be less trustworthy compared to human journalists; and strong relationships between trust/distrust/credibility and fake news were observed.


Open Access