About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 10110-10115
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0893

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

IS IT FAKE? I’LL GOOGLE IT. FAKE NEWS AND HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IN PORTUGAL

S. Santos, J. Figueira

University of Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
The new media ecology that has emerged after the death of the mass media era is characterized by complex communication flows and an exponential increase of producers. The classic Dewey-Lippman debate about democracy, information, public opinion and participation remains completely relevant today despite one small but significant detail: the media have lost the monopoly of disinformation and manipulation (Silverman, 2016). Nowadays, there is a permanent connectivity, mobile platforms are everywhere, and everybody shares information. There is a growing sense of information fatigue (Pew Research Center, 2018), people remain suspicious of both politics and the media (Nielsen & Graves, 2017) and there is something more than a mere political polarization – there is a polarization of worldviews (Hetherington & Weiler, 2009). We can say that these were the right ingredients for a perfect disinformation storm. Hence, despite being a really old problem, fake news recently became a major concern in the internet era. Especially after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, fake news became a buzzword: Collins Dictionary chose it as word of the year in 2017.

Young people are at the core of this new context. They are permanently connected to social media (Pew Research Center, 2018) and that is the main source of their daily news diet (Media Insight Project, 2015). In fact, traditional media are clearly losing importance as a news source for young people (Pew Research Center, 2017). After a widespread investment in Media and Information Literacy during the last decade, recent research has given signs that young people may not be prepared to deal with fake news (McGrew, Ortega, Breakstone & Wineburg, 2017; Pincton & Teravainen, 2017).

In this paper we analyze how higher education students from Portugal deal with fake news. Drawing on quantitative methodology, we focus on the attitudes and perceptions of 603 students (17-21 years-old). Our main findings show that these youngsters and young adults see themselves as proactive but have some misconceptions about fake news. We argue that digital literacies have an increasing importance, but – as Mihailidis and Viotty (2017) explain, there is a need to reposition them in this new context.
@InProceedings{SANTOS2018ISI,
author = {Santos, S. and Figueira, J.},
title = {IS IT FAKE? I’LL GOOGLE IT. FAKE NEWS AND HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IN PORTUGAL},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0893},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0893},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {10110-10115}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Santos AU - J. Figueira
TI - IS IT FAKE? I’LL GOOGLE IT. FAKE NEWS AND HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IN PORTUGAL
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0893
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 10110
EP - 10115
ER -
S. Santos, J. Figueira (2018) IS IT FAKE? I’LL GOOGLE IT. FAKE NEWS AND HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS IN PORTUGAL, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 10110-10115.
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