Signaling news outlet trust in a Google Knowledge panel: A conjoint experiment in Brazil, Germany, and the United States


Using data from a conjoint experiment in three countries (Brazil, n = 2,038; Germany, n = 2,012, and the United States, n = 2,005), this study demonstrates that journalistic transparency can cue trust at the level of the entire news outlet—or domain level—using a Google Knowledge Panel that comes up when people search for a news outlet. In Brazil and the US, two pieces of information in a Knowledge Panel provided the strongest heuristics that a news outlet was trustworthy: a description of the news outlet and a description of other sites accessed by people who frequent that news outlet’s website. In Germany, information about journalists and the description of the news outlet were the strongest cues. Results offer insights into how people heuristically process online news and are discussed in relation to the heuristic systematic model of information processing.