Values and Media Literacy: Exploring the Relationship Between the Values People Prioritize in Their Life and Their Attitudes Toward Media Literacy
Media literacy is often described as an approach that can be used to address pressing public concerns ranging from combating misinformation to supporting citizens’ full participation in society. What is little understood, however, is the importance people give to the role of media literacy in their own lives. Drawing on data from a representative survey of Australian adults, this article examines the importance given to 14 media literacy abilities that are often the focus of media literacy programs. Incorporating Schwartz’s framework of motivational values into our analysis, we find that the specific media literacy abilities people identify as important are generally closely aligned with the underlying values they prioritize in their lives. Furthermore, people’s values offer more predictive power than sociodemographic characteristics when it comes to understanding the importance people place on specific media literacy outcomes. The article argues that by understanding how and why people respond differently to the goals of media literacy, educators can design more appealing and effective media literacy interventions.