News and young Australians

Researchers: Dr Tanya Notley (ICS), Dr Flora Hua Zhong (ICS), Associate Professor Michael Dezuanni (Queensland University of Technology)
Funding: Crinkling News
Period: 2017

This project was motivated by public concern regarding the circulation and potential impact of fake news or ‘disinformation’. The project responded to these concerns by designing and implementing the first nationally representative survey to examine young Australians news practices and experiences. The survey analysis finds that young Australians aged 8-16 years consume a lot of news both directly and through their social relations (family, friends and teachers). While social media sites are often used for news consumption, young people are not confident about spotting fake news online and many rarely or never check the source of online news stories. Despite this, only one in five young Australians reported receiving any lessons to support their ability to critique news in the 12 months before the survey. The findings raise important questions about the need for news media literacy education – both in schools and in the home. The project report was launched at a major event, MediaMe, at The Museum of Contemporary Art. This event brought together 40 young Australians with news media organisations, social media platform companies and educators to develop proposals and recommendations that can advance young people’s news media literacy.