Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Exploring European Citizens’ Resilience to Misinformation: Media Legitimacy and Media Trust as Predictive Variables

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Abstract:  Building on the notion of an intangible resource, this research conceptualizes resilience as an intangible resource that can be ascribed to countries (governments and media) and explores its sources. After presenting the conceptual framework, the study uses cross-national comparable data from Eurobarometer to (a) determine whether a factor called “resilience to misinformation” can be composed of citizens’ attitudes and behaviors toward misinformation and be conceptualized and operationalized as an intangible asset, and (b) determine the extent to which other intangible assets regarding the media (legitimacy and trust) help predict resilience to misinformation. Based on statistical techniques, findings show that (a) it is possible to conceptualize “resilience to misinformation” as an intangible asset comprised of several items related to citizens’ awareness of misinformation, acknowledgment of the negative impact, and the development of skills to identify misinformation; (b) this intangible asset can be analyzed in relation to intangibles that derive from media performance, such as media legitimacy and trust in the media; and (c) media’s intangible assets seem to be more predictive of “resilience to misinformation” than sociodemographic variables. Based on the findings, this research proposes a conceptualization of “resilience to misinformation” as an intangible resource in the public sector. In addition, it highlights recommendations for the mainstream media on how to manage their intangible value while contributing to resilience to misinformation.

Keywords:  European Union; intangible assets; media legitimacy; media trust; misinformation; resilience



© Carlos Rodríguez-Pérez, María José Canel. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.