With every new issue of JMLE, we profile authors published to learn more about their research, where they plan to take it in the future, and how they hope it contributes to media literacy education. Our first author profile for JMLE 8.2 is Dr. David Magolis, who collaborated with Bloomsburg University student Audra Briggs to study students’ understanding of online privacy. The full article, “A Phenomenological Investigation of Social Networking Site Privacy Awareness through a Media Literacy Lens,” can be found on the JMLE website here.
How did you two decide to partner together for this research?
Audra was a student in Bloomsburg University’s Honors Program and needed to complete a research project. I told her about my research agenda and what I was currently working on and we decided to partner together for this research project.
How did the idea for this research study come about?
As a researcher and college professor, I’m always looking at new and different ways to study media literacy. Audra and I talked about current media literacy literature, where the research was concentrated and moving towards, and where our interests intersected with research needs. When we put it together, we decided that we needed to explore undergraduate students’ understanding of privacy on social networking sites from a media literacy perspective.
What do you hope to do with this research in the future?
In this research, we used a phenomenological research method to explore undergraduate students’ understanding of privacy on social networking sites through a media literacy lens. This particular research method produced compelling findings. As a result of this research, I have decided to expand my media literacy research and apply the phenomenological research method to study the impact of fake news, verifying online sources, and older adult’s perspectives of social media literacy education. I have a passion for media literacy education and want to explore as many facets of this area as possible.
How do you hope this research will contribute to media literacy education?
As new methods of media communications permeate our society, I hope that my research can offer meaningful and thought-provoking perspectives on the state of media literacy education in our society and give a voice to underrepresented groups so they can be a part of the ongoing dialogue in the media literacy field.
Why is media literacy research important to you?
Most areas of our lives are touched by media. We are continuously surrounded by, utilize, and engage with media. What and how we consume media can significantly impact our personal and professional lives, financial situation, our health, and many other aspects of our lives.
On a day-to-day basis, every individual is impacted by some form of media. The way in which individuals filter and evaluate the media content that they are exposed to can shape how that person feels about certain situations and the opinions that they form on various topics. The ability to properly scrutinize and evaluate media content is paramount to ensuring a well-informed society. Just in the past few months, we have seen how media literacy can impact a nation, and my goal is to ensure that the discussion about media literacy continues and that it becomes an important area of study for our society.