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But what’s in it for me? News literacy among teenagers

Kristin Van Damme (UGent) and Sarah Van Leuven (UGent)
(2019)
Author
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Abstract
As news has become ubiquitous, audiences are deemed to have critical-thinking skills to assess the reliability of these messages. Over the last years, news literacy is gaining scholarly attention, forcing its place within the broader field of media literacy (Ashley, Maksl & Craft, 2013). News literacy combines knowledge about journalism (production and content of news) and the skills to apply this knowledge when consuming news (cf. Ashley, Maksl & Craft, 2013; Clark & Monserrate, 2011; Fleming, 2014; Kleemans & Eggink, 2016). News literacy among teenagers is especially interesting for two reasons. First, teenagers are a substantial group of media consumers but are relatively understudied in research on youth and news (Marchi, 2012). Second, teenagers are still developing in many ways, including skills to assess media messages. It remains however unclear how teenagers use and value news and how they perceive news literacy. To fill this void, a two-phase study is set up, combining quantitative findings of a large-scale survey with qualitative insights from interviews. In a first study, 2681 teenagers (12-18y) answered a questionnaire on news use and news literacy (including checking behavior, news skepticism and self-perceived news literacy). Using a linear discriminant analysis, three types of teenagers were found. First, Traditionals (33%) mainly rely on TV and radio for news, perceive themselves as news literate, but are less trusting in news. Second, the Skeptics (45%) consume far less news, but when they do, they rely on social media and TV. They are sceptic about the reliability of news, which leads to complacency. Third, the Omnivores (22%) consume news via a wide pallet of online and traditional media and perceive themselves as news literate. Moreover, they consider news as important in society. In a second study, 24 interviews allowed for deeper insight in teenagers’ news consumption and literacy. News use, the importance of news and news coping strategies were discussed. Preliminary results show that teenagers come far less in contact with news than study 1 would suggest. Mostly, news use results from their parents’ consumption patterns (such as watching TV news or discussing a topic). Consequently, they find it hard to define news coping strategies as they do not consider news as being important. When addressing the trustworthiness of news, teenagers are focused on the medium (i.e. newspapers are more trustworthy than online media) or actors (i.e. “when I do not agree a certain opinion, I think “this is not really a reliable article”).
Keywords
teenagers, news literacy, multi-method, news consumption, audience studies

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MLA
Van Damme, Kristin, and Sarah Van Leuven. “But What’s in It for Me? News Literacy Among Teenagers.” 2019. Print.
APA
Van Damme, K., & Van Leuven, S. (2019). But what’s in it for me? News literacy among teenagers. Presented at the ECREA Journalism Studies.
Chicago author-date
Van Damme, Kristin, and Sarah Van Leuven. 2019. “But What’s in It for Me? News Literacy Among Teenagers.” In .
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Damme, Kristin, and Sarah Van Leuven. 2019. “But What’s in It for Me? News Literacy Among Teenagers.” In .
Vancouver
1.
Van Damme K, Van Leuven S. But what’s in it for me? News literacy among teenagers. 2019.
IEEE
[1]
K. Van Damme and S. Van Leuven, “But what’s in it for me? News literacy among teenagers,” presented at the ECREA Journalism Studies, Wenen, 2019.
@inproceedings{8603777,
  abstract     = {As news has become ubiquitous, audiences are deemed to have critical-thinking skills to assess the reliability of these messages. Over the last years, news literacy is gaining scholarly attention, forcing its place within the broader field of media literacy (Ashley, Maksl & Craft, 2013). News literacy combines knowledge about journalism (production and content of news) and the skills to apply this knowledge when consuming news (cf. Ashley, Maksl & Craft, 2013; Clark & Monserrate, 2011; Fleming, 2014; Kleemans & Eggink, 2016). News literacy among teenagers is especially interesting for two reasons. First, teenagers are a substantial group of media consumers but are relatively understudied in research on youth and news (Marchi, 2012). Second, teenagers are still developing in many ways, including skills to assess media messages. It remains however unclear how teenagers use and value news and how they perceive news literacy. 
To fill this void, a two-phase study is set up, combining quantitative findings of a large-scale survey with qualitative insights from interviews. In a first study, 2681 teenagers (12-18y) answered a questionnaire on news use and news literacy (including checking behavior, news skepticism and self-perceived news literacy). Using a linear discriminant analysis, three types of teenagers were found. First, Traditionals (33%) mainly rely on TV and radio for news, perceive themselves as news literate, but are less trusting in news. Second, the Skeptics (45%) consume far less news, but when they do, they rely on social media and TV. They are sceptic about the reliability of news, which leads to complacency. Third, the Omnivores (22%) consume news via a wide pallet of online and traditional media and perceive themselves as news literate. Moreover, they consider news as important in society.
In a second study, 24 interviews allowed for deeper insight in teenagers’ news consumption and literacy. News use, the importance of news and news coping strategies were discussed. Preliminary results show that teenagers come far less in contact with news than study 1 would suggest. Mostly, news use results from their parents’ consumption patterns (such as watching TV news or discussing a topic). Consequently, they find it hard to define news coping strategies as they do not consider news as being important. When addressing the trustworthiness of news, teenagers are focused on the medium (i.e. newspapers are more trustworthy than online media) or actors (i.e. “when I do not agree a certain opinion, I think “this is not really a reliable article”).},
  author       = {Van Damme, Kristin and Van Leuven, Sarah},
  keywords     = {teenagers,news literacy,multi-method,news consumption,audience studies},
  location     = {Wenen},
  title        = {But what’s in it for me? News literacy among teenagers},
  year         = {2019},
}