News literacy, social media behaviors, and skepticism toward information on social media

Emily K. Vraga, Melissa Tully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Amid growing concerns about misinformation on social media, scholars, educators, and commentators see news literacy as a means to improve critical media consumption. We use a nationally-representative sample to investigate the relationship between news literacy (NL), seeing and posting news and political content on social media, and skepticism toward information shared on social media. This study finds NL and related orientations contribute to who is seeing and sharing information on social media, with those who are more knowledgeable about media structures seeing and sharing less content. Moreover, those who are more news literate and value NL are more skeptical of information quality on social media. Seeing and posting news and political content on social media are not associated with skepticism. This study suggests that NL plays an important role in shaping perceptions of information shared online.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-166
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 18 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by University of Iowa [Grant Number 000].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • misinformation
  • news literacy
  • political communication
  • Social media

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