Videogames, televisions, and computers in all their forms, and smartphones, are everywhere to the extent that the time spent in front of a screen by all sectors of society now takes up most of the leisure time of the citizens of all four corners of the world. Yet in the face of this barrage of media, citizens have developed few formative experiences for acquiring these audiovisual and media languages or for increasing their audiovisual and media skills. The main aim of this study is to assess media competence in the Spanish region of Andalusia with the use of an instrument specially designed for the purpose. The measurement criteria and indicators of this tool are shaped by media literacy paradigms and leading international reference models, in particular the model proposed by Hobbs. The instrument consists of indicators which, according to their features, are measured via subjective or objective questions and multiple choice (ordinal or nominal) options. Measurement is standardized by the interpretation of the responses to the items on a scale of 1– 4. The construct is validated by means of factorial analysis to confirm the presence of the five factors (criteria) that form the instrument. The sample consists of 667 adult citizens aged 18–55, resident in Andalusia. The results corroborate the influence of demographic factors on media literacy levels and help identify clusters of citizens that can facilitate the design of targeted literacy projects. The results show that media competence is a construct articulated by dimensions of a varied nature that correlate in many different ways to distinctive social groups within this study.
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