Measuring up in a pandemic : information attention, source credibility, and public evaluation of the government COVID-19 response in mainland China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationChinese Journal of Communication
Online published24 Jul 2023
Publication statusOnline published - 24 Jul 2023


This study examines the interaction effects of attention to COVID-19 information and perceived source credibility on the evaluation of government performance in the Hubei province of mainland China; the study is based on two waves of panel data drawn from a sample of 1896 respondents. The results demonstrated that COVID-19 information attention positively influences the evaluation of both central and local government performance. These direct relationships are contingent on the perceived source credibility of central and local government institutions, but they are not influenced by the perceived credibility of social media sources. More interestingly, there is a negative moderating effect of the perceived credibility of local institution sources on the relationship between COVID-19 information attention and the evaluation of central government performance. This study extends the current research on the impacts of information consumption on political attitudes by integrating various theories or hypotheses (e.g. cognitive media model, attitudinal policy feedback, message persuasion, and informational incongruity). © 2023 The Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese government, COVID-19 pandemic, information attention, performance evaluation, source credibility

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