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Survey: News Literacy Changes Based On College Education, Attitude

A recent survey analyzed news literacy among about 5,000 people in three communities. College education and attitude toward news were factors in being able to spot fake headlines.

The research project was led by the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University in collaboration with the Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin.

The survey found 68 percent of college graduates could identify fake news headlines accurately. Participants who had negative opinions toward news were less able to spot fake headlines and less able to distinguish news from opinion, analysis, or advertising.

Kristy Roschke, managing director at News Co/Lab, said that navigating digital media can be confusing.

“Even the best of us have been tricked by headlines or posts that we see on Twitter or Facebook. We sometimes share without thinking and that’s kind of one of the things we’re trying to stop," she said. 

Roschke said the survey shows how difficult it can be to discern between real and fake news, and that the results indicate a greater need for media fluency.

News Education
Ariana Bustos was an intern at KJZZ in 2018.