Journalists’ perception of the role the news media play in society has been central to the study of journalism and journalistic practices. Using two national surveys of working journalists in Taiwan in 2004 and 2014, this study examined the relationship between journalists’ perceptions
of the media’s role and the influence of the news. The results revealed that in both surveys, two media roles, namely information dissemination and interpretation, were perceived as important by most journalists in Taiwan. In addition, the present findings demonstrated that the respondents considered other people to be more influenced by the news than themselves. Notably, the perceived effect on others was a significant and positive predictor of the journalists’ perceptions of the importance of the media’s role. Moreover, these results validated the applicability of the third-person effect hypothesis in media role perceptions. The implications for the media’s role in journalism and the third-person effect are discussed.