Exploring the Impact of Delivery Mistakes, Gender, and Empathic Concern on Source and Message Credibility

Zijian Harrison Gong, James Eppler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explores the impact of television news anchor delivery mistakes on message and source credibility evaluations and whether gender, news context, and empathic concern moderate this effect. The results of an experiment showed that viewers have the highest appraisal of anchors with perfect delivery, and evaluation suffers precipitously with increased mistakes. When evaluating short news clips, viewers were more tolerant of the female news anchor making three delivery mistakes than the male, but both genders suffered equally when the number of mistakes increased to five. The impact of delivery mistakes on credibility evaluations was consistent in both morning and evening news. Finally, viewers with a low level of empathetic concern reported a harsher view of anchors making mistakes than viewers with a high level of empathetic concern. However, experiences of parasocial interactions evaluation suffered the most in the three delivery mistakes condition and saw an increase in the five mistakes condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Gender
  • credibility evaluations
  • delivery mistakes
  • television news

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