Media Dependency in a Multiple Crisis: Information Seeking and Media Trust After an Earthquake During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Dina Vozab, Mihaela Mihalec, Laura Hana Uremović


The paper examines the relationship between trust in media
and information seeking from the media dependency theory
perspective. Its purpose is to explore different goals in media
use during crisis, and the role of trust and perception of
misinformation. Research was done in Croatia in spring
2020, when citizens were experiencing a crisis caused by the
Covid-19 pandemic and an earthquake hitting the capital
city of Zagreb. It is based on an online survey on a
convenience sample (N = 741). Three media use goals were
discovered: social understanding, self-understanding, and
the play&communication goal. Education, age, and gender
were proven to be important in predicting media use during
a crisis. Media trust is correlated to social understanding
goals and traditional media use, while the perception of
being vulnerable to misinformation is correlated to
withdrawal from media use.


media dependency; media use; media trust; crisis; Covid-19

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096