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Attitude change toward the Chinese during the US-China trade conflict: examining the roles of social media news sharing and perceived news feed performance

Nicky Chang Bi (School of Communication, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska, USA)
Yanqin Lu (School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Louisa Ha (School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)
Peiqin Chen (School of Journalism and Communication, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 11 January 2021

Issue publication date: 10 May 2021

481

Abstract

Purpose

Social media have become an increasingly important source for people to learn about politics and public affairs. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of social media news sharing as a reasoning process of the O-S-R-O-R model and the moderation role of social media news performance on the association between news consumption and attitudinal changes.

Design/methodology/approach

A national survey was conducted in the US. The researcher recruited participants in the Qualtrics national panel by following the census adult demographic breakdown.

Findings

This study finds that social media news consumption on the US-China trade conflict is likely to lead Americans to change attitudes toward Chinese, and this relationship is mediated by social media news sharing. In addition, the indirect relationship via news sharing is found particularly strong among individuals who perceive social media news fair and balanced.

Originality/value

This study extends the literature by examining social media news engagement on the ongoing trade conflict between the US and China. It reveals that the impact of social media news consumption on people's attitudinal and behavioral changes depends on people's perceived news quality on these platforms. Theoretical contribution to the O-S-R-O-R model and practical implications to social media news are discussed in terms of the role that social media platforms play in attitude change.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-05-2020-0178

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by China National Social Science Foundation Key Project Grant.

Citation

Bi, N.C., Lu, Y., Ha, L. and Chen, P. (2021), "Attitude change toward the Chinese during the US-China trade conflict: examining the roles of social media news sharing and perceived news feed performance", Online Information Review, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 599-613. https://doi.org/10.1108/OIR-05-2020-0178

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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