Authors: Paško Bilić and Marija Brajdić Vuković

Journal: Croatian Sociological Review, Vol. 53 No. 2, 2023.

Publisher: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Year: 2023

ISSN 0350-154X (Tisak)
ISSN 1846-7954 (Online)

This paper combines social practice theory, new literacy studies, and critical media literacy. Media literacy allows citizens to participate in society through traditional and digital media. Using existing survey instruments such as the News Literacy Scale and the Internet Skills Survey with originally developed items, we observe media literacy as a social practice encompassing the dimensions of critical thinking, content production, and technical skills. The three dimensions were further operationalised into additive scales of the Critical perception of traditional news media (CPTNMS), Critical perception of digital tools (CPODTS), Media and social justice issues (MSJIS), Content production (CPSS), and Internet information search skills (IISSS). The results from a stratified survey conducted on a sample of adult Croatian citizens (n=1033), representative of gender, age, region, and education, show that age is the main predictor for all scales. The relation between scales shows a positive correlation between CPTNMS, CPODTS, and MSJIS. At the same time, CPTNMS, CPODTS, and MSJIS correlate negatively with the IISS. Those less skilled in internet search are less critical of traditional media and digital tools and are less convinced that media should cover social justice issues. Additionally, being more skilled in content production does not imply any other attitudinal relationship except for a negative association with the lack of IISSS. This paper contributes to the operationalisation of media literacy for sociological research and a better understanding of media literacy in the general population of Croatia.

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