Young People as Empirical Experts of Participatory Research in the Age of Information Disorders
Keywords:Young people, Participatory research, Empirical experts, Information disorders
The main question discussed in this article is: how can young people, as empirical experts, inform the methodologies in studying digital media literacy? Discussion is rooted in a study based on youth consultation organized in Finland in May 2021. The aim of the youth consultation was to help researchers for the European ySKILLS project from three countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland) plan a study on disinformation, conducted later in autumn of the same year. The youth consultation consisted of two parts: an online survey as a qualitative research tool, and an open semi-structured discussion. Based on the results of the youth consultation, it was possible to give recommendations for researchers of the ySKILLS research project. Most useful was information related to youth (not) understanding of algorithm-based communication of social media, which led to suggestions for an additional research question for the ySKILLS study. Overall, the analysis of the results of the youth consultation suggested that young people could act as empirical experts and advisors, especially in the planning stage of research on the uses of digital media and skills on digital media literacy. The next steps could be their consultation in a methodological sense, on how to study their age groups and what topics should be studied.
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