Increased fear and threat toward terrorism in the current American society is largely due to vivid news coverages, as explained by cultivation theory and mean world syndrome. Media literacy has potential to reduce this perception of fear and threat, such as people high on media literacy will be less likely to be affected by terror news. We focus on representation and reality for investigating the relationship between influence of terror news and media literacy, one component of media literacy framework developed by Primack and Hobbs (2006), which deals with how media messages reflect or exclude the reality. Our study divided participants into two groups, reading terror news or another news without any threat, and measured their levels of media literacy. The results do not show that media literacy reduces the influence of terror news, contradicting previous literatures on media literacy. More solid theory of media literacy is needed in order to resolve this impasse and explain impact of media use on perception of hazardous world.
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Bergan, D., & Lee, H. (2018). Media Literacy and Response to Terror News. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 10(3), 43-56. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2018-10-3-3