Media, Biotechnology, and Trust: What Drives Citizens to Support Biotechnology

Zuoming Wang


This paper explores the relationship among ideology, media science news use, and three different types of trust (trust in government, trust in science, and trust in regulative institute), as well as their direct and indirect impact on the support of agricultural biotechnology and the support of regulation on genetic modified organisms (GMO). A structural model showed that the public are slightly leaning toward the use of biotechnology; meanwhile they overwhelmingly request the control on GMO. Level of education directly promoted all three types of trusts and had a positive effect on the support of biotechnology and the support of regulation on GMO. Media science news use has both a direct and an indirect positive effect (through trust in scientific process) on support of biotechnology. Among the three different types of trusts, trust on government did not have significant effects on public attitude toward biotechnology. Trust in regulative institutes, associated with more control on GMO, decreased the public’s support of biotechnology. Meanwhile, trust in scientific process directly bolstered public’s support of biotechnology.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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