Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Media Studies


Jacquelyn Burkell


This study investigates how young people navigate through a number of hyperlinked online news on a specific topic and how this effects, and is affected by, their opinions. Navigating though non-linear hypertext forces readers to integrate information from different sources and make more decisions about what to read, which is more difficult than reading information presented in a linear format, but might also promote deeper engagement with that material. This study used a combination of participant observation, think-aloud protocols, and semi-structured interviews to investigate these issues as participants navigated through a curated collection of articles about the Canadian Oil Sands. Findings about how participants engage with the material, and how the pathways they create while navigating impact their opinions, are discussed.