Measuring Media Literacy
Among Collegiate Journalism Students
An exercise in patience & perseverance
By Jory Burson
Image ...
The Inspiration:
Five semesters of grading papers for JB
1143 Media & Society
The Definition:
“…the ability of a citizen to access, analyze, and
produce information for specific outcomes.”
- The Aspen...
The Questions:
1) What is the media literacy knowledge level of
collegiate journalism students?
2) How does the media lite...
The Hypothesis:
Journalism majors will score higher than non-
journalism majors on a media literacy survey.
The Justification:
1) Journalism students should have a thorough
understanding of the media industry upon
graduation.
2) E...
The Theory:
•Potter’s Cognitive Theory of Media Literacy (2004)
•Defines the process of becoming media literate in three
p...
The Methodology:
From the literature review, seven primary criterion
of a media literate individual were identified:
1) Aw...
The Methodology, continued:
4) Awareness of media’s social
constructionist role
5) Increased enjoyment or appreciation of
...
The Methodology, continued:
To test those criterion, a media literacy survey
was developed based on research by Potter
(19...
The Methodology, continued:
The researcher used e-mail and direct classroom
recruitment for the sampling method.
- e-mails...
The Survey:
•53 total test items
•Combination of multiple choice, yes-no, scale,
and open-ended questions.
•Questions abou...
The Survey, continued:
•Questions about media usage & engagement:
•“How many hours do you spend consuming media
per day?”
...
The Survey, continued:
•Questions to test the criterion of a media literate
individual included:
•“Which government agency...
The Demographics:
•291 respondents to the survey
•125 majors in the Journalism & Broadcasting
department, 166 majors from ...
The Demographics, continued:
Of the 125 Journalism & Broadcasting dept.
majors,
* 18.5% News/Editorial
* 14.5% Broadcastin...
The Statistical Tests:
•Independent Samples T-Tests to compare the
Journalism majors with the non-journalism
majors.
•One-...
The Results:
Reliability Analysis removed the test items
designed to test the criterion Media’s Impact,
which left five cr...
The Results, continued:
Journalism majors reported spending more time
per day and per week consuming media than
non-journa...
The Results, continued:
On the knowledge portion of the survey,
Journalism majors (M=6.25) had more correct
responses than...
The Results, continued:
{HOWEVER}
The survey’s range was 0-14, meaning that
while journalism majors scored better than non...
The Results, continued:
On the knowledge portion of the survey,
News/editorial majors scored the highest (M=7.74);
This wa...
The Limitations:
•44.3% of the respondents were Freshmen, thus
not as far along in their media education.
•Advertising and...
The Future?
•Research to understand the relationship
between media consumption and engagement
levels?
•Research to underst...
The END.
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Media Literacy Research Presentation

  1. 1. Measuring Media Literacy Among Collegiate Journalism Students An exercise in patience & perseverance By Jory Burson Image from pbs.org
  2. 2. The Inspiration: Five semesters of grading papers for JB 1143 Media & Society
  3. 3. The Definition: “…the ability of a citizen to access, analyze, and produce information for specific outcomes.” - The Aspen Institute National Leadership Conference on Media Literacy “A media literate person – and everyone should have the opportunity to become one – can decode, evaluate, analyze, and produce both print and electronic media.” - Aufderheide (2001, pg. 79)
  4. 4. The Questions: 1) What is the media literacy knowledge level of collegiate journalism students? 2) How does the media literacy knowledge level of journalism students compare to that of non- journalism students?
  5. 5. The Hypothesis: Journalism majors will score higher than non- journalism majors on a media literacy survey.
  6. 6. The Justification: 1) Journalism students should have a thorough understanding of the media industry upon graduation. 2) Effective media literacy education for journalists can impact our democracy. 3) This study could help guide future efforts to provide media literacy education for journalism students.
  7. 7. The Theory: •Potter’s Cognitive Theory of Media Literacy (2004) •Defines the process of becoming media literate in three parts: •Knowledge structures must be developed. •Continually develop knowledge structures and applying critical thinking toward media messages. •Media literacy must have a purpose. •Social Construction Theory (Berger & Luckmann, 1966)
  8. 8. The Methodology: From the literature review, seven primary criterion of a media literate individual were identified: 1) Awareness of media’s impact on the individual and society 2) Understanding the media system & how it works 3) Information processing and critical thinking
  9. 9. The Methodology, continued: 4) Awareness of media’s social constructionist role 5) Increased enjoyment or appreciation of media content 6) Knowledge of media’s role within the First Amendment 7) Continual development as mental maturity increases
  10. 10. The Methodology, continued: To test those criterion, a media literacy survey was developed based on research by Potter (1998) and Thayer (2007). The researcher surveyed for all the criterions except #7, continual development.
  11. 11. The Methodology, continued: The researcher used e-mail and direct classroom recruitment for the sampling method. - e-mails sent via departmental listservs + visits to selected, consenting classrooms Surveymonkey.com used to host the survey for e- mail responses. Codebook developed by the researcher to input paper-survey responses into SPSS.
  12. 12. The Survey: •53 total test items •Combination of multiple choice, yes-no, scale, and open-ended questions. •Questions about prior knowledge of media literacy: •“How many courses have you had which have discussed media literacy?” •“Define media literacy to the best of your ability.”
  13. 13. The Survey, continued: •Questions about media usage & engagement: •“How many hours do you spend consuming media per day?” •“Have you ever written a letter to the editor of a newspaper?”
  14. 14. The Survey, continued: •Questions to test the criterion of a media literate individual included: •“Which government agency monitors broadcasters?” •“I know more about the media than other students because of my major.” •“ I often find out about social trends through the media.” •“Which of the following camera shots conveys the most emotional drama?”
  15. 15. The Demographics: •291 respondents to the survey •125 majors in the Journalism & Broadcasting department, 166 majors from other departments. •45.4% male, 54% female, .6% no response •44.3% Freshmen, 22% Sophomore, 18.6% Juniors, 14.8% Seniors, .3% no response
  16. 16. The Demographics, continued: Of the 125 Journalism & Broadcasting dept. majors, * 18.5% News/Editorial * 14.5% Broadcasting * 41.9% Public Relations * 8.9% Advertising * 16.1% Sports Media *.8% No Response
  17. 17. The Statistical Tests: •Independent Samples T-Tests to compare the Journalism majors with the non-journalism majors. •One-Way ANOVA to compare scores between Journalism majors based on their degree sequence. •Cronbach’s Alpha to establish the reliability of the scale.
  18. 18. The Results: Reliability Analysis removed the test items designed to test the criterion Media’s Impact, which left five criterion to analyze. Journalism majors reported taking more courses (2-3 courses) that discussed media literacy than non-journalism majors (0-1 courses).
  19. 19. The Results, continued: Journalism majors reported spending more time per day and per week consuming media than non-journalism majors. Journalism majors reported using multiple media sources at a time more often than non-journalism majors. Journalism majors reported engaging more with media sources than non-journalism majors.
  20. 20. The Results, continued: On the knowledge portion of the survey, Journalism majors (M=6.25) had more correct responses than non-journalism majors (M=3.33). This result was statistically significant. - These results supported the Hypothesis
  21. 21. The Results, continued: {HOWEVER} The survey’s range was 0-14, meaning that while journalism majors scored better than non- journalism majors, they still scored less than half the points available.
  22. 22. The Results, continued: On the knowledge portion of the survey, News/editorial majors scored the highest (M=7.74); This was significantly different from one other major – Public Relations (M=5.54). On the remaining criterion, Journalism majors scored significantly higher than non- journalism students on all criterion except Information Processing
  23. 23. The Limitations: •44.3% of the respondents were Freshmen, thus not as far along in their media education. •Advertising and Sports Media majors appeared to share more similarities with non-journalism majors. •The scale for this study suffered from reliability issues, which eliminated one criterion and some key questions designed to measure variables for others.
  24. 24. The Future? •Research to understand the relationship between media consumption and engagement levels? •Research to understand if journalism majors use media for a different social construction role than non-journalism majors? •Similar research to examine other media-related majors, such as film studies?
  25. 25. The END.

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