Media literacy of humor in times of pandemic: Assessing the comprehension of texts by first-year college students

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In Portuguese society, humor has been gaining prominence as an instrument of criticism and reflection on reality, and is highly sought after in all media. One of the current names of reference is Ricardo Araújo Pereira (RAP), a Portuguese humorist, much appreciated by the public, whose texts are based on language games and multiple cultural and social references that can challenge interpretation, especially by young people. The present work is part of a project based on the analysis of a corpus of fifteen humor columns by RAP, published in the magazine Visão, between February and September, 2020, which focus on several issues surrounding COVID-19, in the fields of science, social life and politics. Our objectives are: to describe and characterize the text genre humor column; to understand how language dynamics contribute to the development of thematic content; to assess the reception and understanding of the mechanisms of humor present in the texts. For this work, we focus on the third objective, namely, to assess the level of understanding evidenced by the first-year students of the Journalism and Communication course at the Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre. Therefore, we selected two texts which were submitted to the students’ interpretation, through an individual questionnaire with closed and open answer questions. The analysis of the results showed the strengths and weaknesses of the media literacy of humor, opening paths and horizons for the didactic exploration of texts in higher education classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Congress on 21st Century Literacies (ICCL2021)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings
EditorsCristina Dias, Carla Santos, Luís Cardoso, Vanda Correia
Place of PublicationPortalegre
PublisherInstituto Politécnico de Portalegre (IPP)
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-8806-44-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventInternational Congress on 21st Century Literacies - online, Portugal
Duration: 15 Jul 202116 Jul 2021


ConferenceInternational Congress on 21st Century Literacies
Abbreviated titleICCL 2021
Internet address


  • Media literacy
  • Higher education
  • Humor column
  • Text genre
  • Linguistic analysis
  • Literacia mediática
  • Ensino superior
  • Crónica de humor
  • Género textual
  • Análise linguística


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