The effect of media literacy on portguese people's use and trust of social media as a news source and susceptability to misinformation

  • Sara Barateiro Marques (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This study aimed to look at the Portuguese context to assess the impact of media literacy on the use and trust of social media as a news source, and on susceptibility to misinformation. This investigation also aimed to fill a gap in media literacy and misinformation research, as it is mainly confined to younger population. By employing a quantitative cross-sectional survey of 259 participants, this study revealed that high levels of media literacy are associated with increased trust in social media as news source, greater likelihood of using social media as a main news source and a greater ability to distinguish false from real news. Results also demonstrated that Portuguese people’s media literacy levels and ability to discern false from real news are moderately high. Although the Portuguese population continues to rely heavily on traditional media, social media also plays a part in the population’s news consumption. However, trust levels in news on social media and using social media as a main news source remains low. Notably, age emerged as a crucial concern, with individuals older than 34 years old performing worst in most of this study’s analyses. This draws attention to the importance of continued research on media literacy across all age groups.
Date of Award12 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorJessica Roberts (Supervisor)


  • Social media
  • Media literacy
  • News source
  • Misinformation
  • Susceptibility to misinformation


  • Mestrado em Ciências da Comunicação

Cite this