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Keywords:

  • online news;
  • credibility;
  • hypertext;
  • interactivity;
  • multimediality;
  • hypertextuality

This study investigates a range of traditional and technological factors that contribute to credibility perceptions for three categories of online news sources. These sources include mainstream (usatoday.com, nytimes.com), independent (thedrudgereport.com, axisoflogic.com), and index-type (news.google.com, yahoo.news.com) websites. While traditional dimensions of credibility remain influential, results suggest that the hypertextuality of index-type online news sources is of particular importance. Multimediality and interactivity did not influence credibility perceptions. These results support the perspective that online media differ based on credibility and users' perceptions are in part based on the technological affordances of media. A major contribution of this research lies in the empirical demonstration of the relationships between technological characteristics of various online news sources and subsequent credibility assessments.