Effective messaging to communicate news media literacy concepts to diverse publics

Emily K. Vraga, Melissa Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In an evolving news environment, our understanding and application of “news media literacy” must also evolve to equip individuals with the skills to critically engage with news and participate in public life. Using an experimental design, this study tests different news media literacy messages to determine whether certain messages appeal to some groups over others and whether their effectiveness depends on the media context in which they are consumed by pairing these messages with a clip from The Daily Show. Our findings suggest that different news media literacy messages were seen as successful in conveying their message and promoting political engagement, but these effects also depend on media context and audience characteristics. This study fills a gap by developing and testing realistic news media literacy messages for their democratic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication and the Public
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at The University of Iowa for their support of this research. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.


  • Democracy
  • The Daily Show
  • experiment
  • news media literacy
  • political engagement


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