ERIC Number: ED209143
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Students and the News: Patterns of Knowledge and Acquisition. Research Overview.
Fleming, Dan B.; Weber, Larry J.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the news acquisition habits of students and their knowledge of the news. Differences in the performance of males and females were compared. Two thousand, eighth- and eleventh-grade students from four school districts in Virginia were administered a current events test and asked to respond to questions about their viewing habits concerning the use of mass media. All students were enrolled in social studies classes at the time of testing. Rural, urban, and suburban schools were represented in the study. Results include the following. Both sexes chose television as their main and most accurate source of news information. Newspapers trailed far behind followed by parents, classes, friends, and news magazines. Even though nearly half of the students indicated that they discussed the news in their social studies classroom daily or several times a week, they failed to identify the classroom as a primary source of information. Regarding knowledge achievement, boys scored higher than girls on the test. Boys did considerably better than girls on questions related to international and national events. On items involving state news, both groups were very similar. Concerning news acquisition habits, the boys watched both local and national television news more than girls. They also read a daily newspaper more than girls. Boys had an overwhelming preference for sports while girls strongly like human interest stories on the local television news. (Author/RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council for the Social Studies (Detroit, MI, November 22-24, 1981).