Miriam J. Metzger

Miriam J. Metzger is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and coeditor of Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility (MIT Press, 2008), one of the inaugural volumes in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning.

  • Kids and Credibility

    Kids and Credibility

    An Empirical Examination of Youth, Digital Media Use, and Information Credibility

    Andrew J. Flanagin and Miriam J. Metzger

    Findings from a survey of youthful Internet users that was designed to assess kids' beliefs about the credibility of online information.

    How well do children navigate the ocean of information that is available online? The enormous variety of Web-based resources represents both opportunities and challenges for Internet-savvy kids, offering extraordinary potential for learning and social connection but little guidance on assessing the reliability of online information. This book reports on the first large-scale survey to examine children's online information-seeking strategies and their beliefs about the credibility of that information. This Web-based survey of 2,747 children, ages 11 to 18 (and their parents), confirms children's heavy reliance on the Internet. They are concerned about the credibility of online information, but 89 percent believe that “some” to “a lot” of it is believable; and, choosing among several options, they rate the Internet as the most believable information source for entertainment, commercial products, and schoolwork (more credible than books for papers or projects). Most have more faith information found on Wikipedia more than they say others should; and they consider an article on the Web site of Encyclopedia Britannica more believable than the identical article found on Wikipedia. Other findings show that children are appropriately skeptical of trusting strangers they meet online, but not skeptical enough about entertainment and health information found online. Older kids are more rigorous in their assessment of online information than younger ones; younger children are less analytical and more likely to be fooled.

    • Paperback $14.00
  • Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility

    Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility

    Miriam J. Metzger and Andrew J. Flanagin

    The difficulties in determining the quality of information on the Internet—in particular, the implications of wide access and questionable credibility for youth and learning.

    Today we have access to an almost inconceivably vast amount of information, from sources that are increasingly portable, accessible, and interactive. The Internet and the explosion of digital media content have made more information available from more sources to more people than at any other time in human history. This brings an infinite number of opportunities for learning, social connection, and entertainment. But at the same time, the origin of information, its quality, and its veracity are often difficult to assess. This volume addresses the issue of credibility—the objective and subjective components that make information believable—in the contemporary media environment. The contributors look particularly at youth audiences and experiences, considering the implications of wide access and the questionable credibility of information for youth and learning. They discuss such topics as the credibility of health information online, how to teach credibility assessment, and public policy solutions. Much research has been done on credibility and new media, but little of it focuses on users younger than college students. Digital Media, Youth, and Credibility fills this gap in the literature.

    ContributorsMatthew S. Eastin, Gunther Eysenbach, Brian Hilligoss, Frances Jacobson Harris, R. David Lankes, Soo Young Rieh, S. Shyam Sundar, Fred W. Weingarten

    • Hardcover $7.75
    • Paperback $16.00