News Media and Politicization: American Youth 1969-1975

Ruth S. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study analyzes change in news media usage among thirteenand seventeen-year-old students, compares TV, radio, and newspaper attention levels, and considers changes in news topics of interest to teenagers during the Vietnam-Watergate era. The data are from national surveys conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 1969 and 1975. By 1975, American youth of both age groups watched less TV news, listened to less radio news, and read fewer newspapers than their age counterparts six years earlier. Although news media usage decreased during this period, those who used the news media in 1975 were as likely to recall news topics of interest as media users in 1969. Few students use more than one medium to obtain political news but no single source dominates their attention. Cross-sectional analysis indicates that news media usage is only weakly related to levels of political awareness. Among the three media considered, the linkage is strongest between TV news and information levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-71
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Early Adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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