Exploring the relationship between media literacy, online interaction, and civic engagement

Sora Park, Jee Young Lee, Tanya Notley, Michael Dezuanni

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Internet and media use can provide accessible, diverse, and timely opportunities for civic engagement. However, to use media and the internet to interact and collaborate, citizens need to be equipped with particular skills and knowledge. This study draws on a national survey of Australian adults (N = 3,510) to examine how media abilities and online interaction activities are related to their civic engagement. The findings suggest that the more active people are online, interacting with content or other people, the more likely they are to be engaged in civic activities. The data also shows that those with a higher level of confidence in their media abilities are more likely to engage in more civic activities. A broader understanding of the multidimensional characteristics of media literacy is needed to consider the role online interaction activities and media literacy abilities play in contributing to civic engagement. At the same time, the research suggests that equipping citizens with media literacy as well as enabling them to use the interactive functions of digital media can increase citizens’ civic engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-261
Number of pages12
JournalInformation Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2023


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