News literacy and online news between Egyptian and Spanish youth: Fake news, hate speech and trust in the media




News literacy, news, disinformation, social media, youth, media consumption


Exposure to harmful content, fake news, and hate speech, calls to question whether citizens are 'responsible' when it comes to their online news behavior. This exploratory study aims to positioning news literacy as a mediating factor toward fostering civic responsibility by investigating its role in enhancing youth's online news experience and preparing them against harmful content. News literacy is defined as a multi-structural construct with three main constituents: motivation, knowledge, and skills. The study's main goal is accomplished through delving into youth's online news experience, and assessing their level of news literacy through a mixed methods approach relying on focus group discussions as a qualitative method and survey as a quantitative method. The study is applied to a sample of youth from Egypt and a sample of youth from Spain, on whom comparative analysis is conducted. Findings reveal a positive correlation between news literacy and: the ability to identify fake news, the ability to identify hate speech, engagement with news, caring about the veracity of content before sharing, and motivation to seek news. Negative perceptions about professional news media's performance have been expressed by respondents from both countries, with the main justification being that news media are not fulfilling their role as should be.