COVID-19 disinformation and political engagement among communities of color: The role of media literacy

Austin, E. W.; Borah, P.; Domgaard, S.
The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review

Communities of color, suffering equity gaps and disproportionate COVID-19 effects, also must resist ongoing disinformation campaigns designed to impede their political influence. A representative, national survey (N=1264) of adults conducted June-July 2020 found that nonwhite respondents tended to report less COVID-19 knowledge, media literacy, and voting intent than white respondents, but more acceptance of COVID-19 disinformation and for risks associated with protesting for social justice. General media literacy skills are associated with COVID-19 knowledge and political engagement, while science media literacy is associated with less acceptance of COVID-19 disinformation. Media literacy skills appear important for empowering and informing communities of color.