Instilling News Consumption at Home

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A presentation by Michal Alon-Tirosh in My Media Playground seminar 14th February 2013 in Tampere, Finland

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Instilling News Consumption at Home

  1. 1. INSTILLING NEWS CONSUMPTIONAT HOMEMichal Alon-TiroshThe Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Israelmichalt@yvc.ac.il
  2. 2. 2Political Socialization and Civic EngagementPolitical socialization – “a developmental process by which children and adolescents acquire cognitions, attitudes, and behaviors relating to their political environment” (Atkin & Gantz, 1978, p. 184).These two processes are vital to maintaining democratic life. • They can determine whether an individual is to become a well-guided citizen, taking interest in political and civic issues and demonstrating political and social involvement, or remain indifferent and aloof, unwilling to make a difference in his/her environment.Political socialization agents: • The media – the news • Parents
  3. 3. 3 Children and the news – A mixed blessing• The news genre could significantly contribute to the political socialization of children and to their social involvement.• Correlations were found between news consumption, particularly TV news, and children’s command of politics, state affairs and civic issues, as well as their views in these areas. • children who watch more news demonstrate greater political knowledge and deeper political understanding and moreover, show greater curiosity in news contents. It is important that children will consume news. But, children’s consumption of news also has disadvantages:• News may have adverse effects on children (e.g. news watching stirs fear, anxiety and restlessness among young viewers).• Children are faced with difficulties during and after news watching• Young viewers express aversion to news
  4. 4. 4 Parents as socialization agentsParents are perceived as significant political socialization agents, inspiring their offspring’s political socialization and social engagement. The parents’ influence can be manifested in different ways, from inspiring the political stances adopted by their children to conducts such as political involvement and willingness to partake in social events and community events.Do parents also influence their childrens political socialization by influencing their childrens news exposure and their attitudes to this genre?Parents have influence on the function of media as socialization agent in the lives of their children. They also mediate the media to the child.We can assume that parents have a contribution in shaping the role of the news genre in the lives of their children.
  5. 5. 5Research questions- General• What are parents’ attitudes to their children’s news consumption?• What are children’s attitudes to the news?• Do parents’ views regarding news consumption correspond to their children’s views regarding this genre?
  6. 6. 6Research questions• What are the parents’ views regarding news consumption?• What are parents’ attitudes to their children’s news consumption? • Do parents believe their children should consume news?• Do parents’ views regarding news consumption correspond to their stances on news consumption by their children?• What are children’s attitudes to the news?• Do parents’ views regarding news consumption correspond to their children’s stances on news consumption?• Do parents’ stances on news consumption by their children correspond to their children’s views regarding news consumption?
  7. 7. 7MethodParticipants:61 Israeli parents of children aged 8-13 and their children were asked to express their views on news consumption and its frequency.Procedure:The parents and the children were interviewed (structured questionnaire): • Their news consumption frequency • The importance they attributed to news consumption • The importance parents attributed to news consumption by their children.
  8. 8. 8Results- parents How important is news consumption for you? (percentage) 3,3 10 8,2 Not at all Somewhat important 26,2 Important Very important 39,3 Highly important• Positive correlation between the importance attributed by parents to news consumption and their own news consumption frequency.
  9. 9. 9Results- parents How important is news consumption by your child? (percent) 40 31,1 30 21,3 23 20 16,4 8,2 10 0 Not at all Somewhat important Important Very important Highly important• Positive correlation between the importance attributed by parents to news consumption and the importance attributed to news consumption by their child.
  10. 10. 10Results- children How important is news consumption for you? (percentage) 11,5 9,8 Not at all 18 Somewhat important 21,3 Important Very important Highly important 39,3• Positive correlation between the importance attributed by children to news consumption and their own news consumption frequency.
  11. 11. 11Results- correlations• Positive correlation between the importance attributed by the parent to news consumption and the importance attributed by the child to news consumption.• Positive correlation between the importance attributed by the parent to news consumption by his/her child and the importance attributed by the child to news consumption.
  12. 12. 12Conclusions• Most parents attribute importance to news consumption in general and accordingly, to news consumption by their own children.• Most children attribute importance to news consumption.• A positive correlation between parents’ views regarding the news and their children’s views regarding this genre.
  13. 13. 13Implications• We can assume that parents have a contribution in shaping the role of the news genre in the lives of their children.• It is important to instill news consumption at homes, as a possible factor in children’s political socialization processes. Thank you 

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