Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

News consumption of political stories not enough to retain political knowledge

Date:
September 25, 2012
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have found that adolescents who spend more time thinking and talking about the news with their peers and relatives tend to know more about political developments in the country.

A strong democracy depends on smart voters who choose their leaders based on their knowledge of important political issues. One of the ways that Americans learn about politics is by following the news. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism have found that simply following the news is not enough.

A panel survey involving more than 1,200 teenagers from 12 to 17 years of age found that adolescents learn more about politics when they think and talk about what they read or watch on the news. Edson Tandoc, a doctoral student at MU, found that adolescents who spend more time thinking and talking about the news with their peers and relatives tend to know more about political developments in the country.

"This is important because an individual's political identity begins long before one is eligible to vote," Tandoc said. "Our political identity is not shaped overnight and so it is important to start molding our future voters while they are still young."

Tandoc and his adviser, Esther Thorson, a professor and associate dean for graduate studies and research in the MU School of Journalism, analyzed two surveys conducted six months apart. The first survey, conducted six months before the 2008 presidential elections, asked teenagers how frequently they followed the news, how much they thought about the news, and how often they discussed political news with their peers and relatives. The second survey conducted right after the elections asked the same teenagers several questions about politics to measure their levels of political knowledge.

What Tandoc found is that news consumption does not directly lead to political knowledge. Instead, news consumption leads to thinking about the news which then leads to engagement in discussions about the news, which finally ends with political learning.

"Engaging teenagers in the political process is vital for the future of democracy," Tandoc said. "Our study shows that if parents and educators want to increase political knowledge and action among younger generations, it is important to involve them in discussions about what they are reading in the news. Just giving them a story to read is not enough. Teenagers need to be able to think through and talk about political issues in order to retain knowledge about them."

Tandoc and Thorson presented the results of their study during the Association for Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) conference in Chicago last month.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "News consumption of political stories not enough to retain political knowledge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925143751.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2012, September 25). News consumption of political stories not enough to retain political knowledge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925143751.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "News consumption of political stories not enough to retain political knowledge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925143751.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins