Young people are more likely to believe and spread fake news

Young people are more likely to believe and spread fake news

“Young people are very interested and find it important to stay informed about the news,” researcher Sophie Dovecott told RTL Nieuws. Keeping up with the news would also help young people to have conversations with people in their environment.

overwhelming

However, the large supply of news makes young people feel fatigued quickly, according to the study. “News is always out there. You can’t really escape it,” says Dovecott.

Thanks to the large supply of news, young people have a broader understanding of what exactly the news means. For example, unlike the older generations, they didn’t grow up with loyalty to a particular news brand. For example, it is common for young people to consume news not only through traditional sources, such as the newspaper, but also through social media and influencers.

According to Dovkot, young people are looking for diverse perspectives. “They want to see multiple sides of an issue, and they see that show up more in alternative media.” For alternative media, think of news via social media, for example. When someone you know shares it, it can be enough to trust the content.

Young people quickly view traditional news media as negative and depressing. Given the wide range of media, they also don’t expect the media to deal with a topic objectively and impartially. According to the study, young people are becoming more critical when it comes to “mainstream” news.

Continue the conversation

According to Dovecote, it is best for the media to present different perspectives on the news. In this way, the media can help sustain dialogue among young people who find it important that news also relate to everyday life.

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In addition, according to research, news helps develop young people’s opinions. “This is important in shaping their identity,” says Dovecott.

In Immunity to Fake News, psychology professor Sander van der Linden compares fake news to a virus and offers solutions for increasing your resistance to it.

The research was carried out on behalf of UseTheNews by researchers from the Research Group for Quality Journalism in Digital Transformation at Hogeschool Utrecht and used literature from 2006 to 2022.

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