Amid growing concerns over the role of “fake news” in civic and political life, efforts to understand how to best prepare youth to evaluate and reason about online sources have gained a sense of urgency. However, less attention has been paid to how such skills are used in the context of the broader array of information behavior that is typical of civic and political participation today—particularly in the circulation of information. Through thematic analysis of interviews and think aloud tasks with n=24 urban high school students reasoning through the processes of search, credibility analysis and circulating information for the purposes of issue advocacy, two considerations for civic media literacy education emerged. First, greater attention is needed to educating youth to coordinate the considerations for factual accuracy with the social and emotional components of civic media, particularly once they move beyond the task of being asked to assess media and into the tasks of searching for or choosing to share media. Second, greater attention is needed on circulation in civic media literacy and what it means to share information ethically and responsibly.
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Middaugh, E. (2018). Civic Media Literacy in a Transmedia World: Balancing Personal Experience, Factual Accuracy and Emotional Appeal as Media Consumers and Circulators. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 10(2), 33-52. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2018-10-2-3