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Comunicar Journal 67: Cyber convivencia as a social scenario: Ethics and emotions (Vol. 29 - 2021)

Motivation and perception of Hong Kong university students about social media news


With the prevalence of social media in a digital age, accessing news on social media has become a daily routine of university students’ lives. However, little research has been done to examine their social media news use in detail, especially in Asian countries. To fill this gap, we aimed to examine what motivated university students to seek news on social media, to what extent they perceived they were in control of the influences of news, and whether news motives were related to their levels of news media literacy across three domains: (a) authors and audiences; (b) messages and meaning, and (c) representation and reality. One hundred and forty-seven university students from a university in Hong Kong participated. Among the four news motives, socializing was the most powerful predictor for news use on social media. Most students believed they were in control of news influences and demonstrated a high level of news media literacy, and those who believed themselves to be in control of news influences showed a higher level of news media literacy. In this sense, high news-literate students were more likely to seek news for socializing as compared to their low news-literate counterparts. Insights on educating students to use social media in a positive and smart way were discussed.