I'd be excited if it were the news generating such interest and involvement, but unfortunately it's not. "The most popular shows commented on by respondents," says the article, "include ITV’s The X Factor and Coronation Street, Channel 4’s Skins, E4’s Glee and the BBC’s EastEnders." In other words, the fun stuff, not the news stuff.
So we have a potential upside and downside here, at least in terms of what people know:
- Upside: When they do watch news (not often), perhaps young people also post to social media, thus helping reinforce their exposure to such information and, by extension, their knowledge. It's a testable notion.
- Downside: Do you actually learn while watching TV and posting about what you see? Evidence from previous studies on multitasking suggests not, but as far as I know no one has specifically tested this with news and posting about news. All you budding mass comm scholars out there, here's one to grab and go with.