Tactics of news literacy: How young people access, evaluate, and engage with news on social media

Joelle Swart*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)
    139 Downloads (Pure)


    Young people’s increasing dependence on social media for news demands increasing levels of news literacy, leading to a rise in media literacy programs that aim to support youth’s abilities to critically and mindfully navigate news. However, being news literate does not necessarily mean such knowledge and skills are applied in practice. This article starts from young people’s own news practices and experiences on social media to explore when news literacy becomes meaningful in the practice of everyday life. Based on in-depth interviews with 36 young people aged 16–22, it explores what strategies and tactics they employ to access, evaluate, or engage with news. It argues that such practices can be considered as expressions of news literacy, through which young people negotiate platform structures and norms taught in media education. Moreover, it reconceptualizes news literacy as a form of situated knowledge, emphasizing how platform and social contexts shape users’ attitudes, motivations, and perceptions of agency.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)505-521
    Number of pages17
    JournalNew media & society
    Issue number3
    Early online date2-May-2021
    Publication statusPublished - Mar-2023

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