With the rise of intermediaries such as portals, social-bookmarking sites, and microblogs, online news is often carried through multiple sources. However, the perceived credibility of different source cues attached to a single news story can be quite different. So, how do readers evaluate the story? Do users factor in all distal sources, or do they simply refer to the proximate source delivering the news? Using a 2 (involvement) x 2 (proximal source credibility) x 2 (distal source credibility) full-factorial between-subjects experiment (N = 231), we found that while highly involved readers considered both types of sources, low-involvement readers were primarily influenced by the proximate source.
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