Who experiences growth in news media literacy and why does it matter? Examining education, individual differences, and democratic outcomes

Melissa Tully, Emily K. Vraga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Developing news media literacy skills is recognized as an important part of becoming an informed citizen, but not enough research examines how growth in media literacy differs by individual characteristics. Using a panel study of undergraduate students, we examine which predispositions predict growth in news media literacy beliefs over the semester. We then test whether growth in news media literacy leads individuals to more highly value and engage in heterogeneous political discussion, a critical part of a functioning democracy. Our results suggest some individuals experience more growth in news media literacy, and that growth contributes to democratic attitudes and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-181
Number of pages15
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Educator
Volume73
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Iowa for supporting this work and Melissa Broeckelman-Post, Basic Course Coordinator at George Mason University, for access to the data used in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© AEJMC 2017.

Keywords

  • Democracy
  • News media literacy
  • Panel study
  • Political disagreement
  • Survey

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