Today’s college students grew up with digital news media and social media readily available on their smartphones. As a result, students are likely to use their smartphones to access the news through social media where partisan misinformation is easily spread. Efforts to combat the spread of misinformation on social media are being explored on several fronts, including media literacy programs. While media literacy is not a cure-all for the problems posed by misinformation, it is helpful for instructors to understand how adept U.S. college students are at assessing the credibility of the news on their phones and the influence political polarization has on the students’ news consumption. This study addresses how 206 undergraduate students at a regional university in the Southwestern United States interact with social media, consume the news, and determine which news articles to believe. It offers insights into the role media literacy may have in addressing the issue.
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Gaultney, I. B., Sherron, T., & Boden, C. (2022). Political polarization, misinformation, and media literacy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 14(1), 59-81. https://doi.org/10.23860/JMLE-2022-14-1-5