Mass media has a significant impact on public support for the government. This manuscript constructs a mixed model with official media use as the moderating variable and government trust as the intermediary variable to explore the mechanism of how unofficial media use affects system confidence, using data from a survey of the political and social attitudes of netizens (2015). The study finds that official media use weakens the negative role of unofficial media use in building system confidence, with the intermediary variable of government trust creating the necessary conditions for weakening the effect of unofficial media use. Moreover, the effect of unofficial media use on system confidence is heterogeneous. These findings remind us that it is necessary to deepen research into the micromechanisms that explain how unofficial media use reduces system confidence, a task for which cognitive theory is well suited.
- political communication effects
- unofficial media use
- system confidence
- official media use
- government trust