Reuters Institute has published a comprehensive report that shows a large increase in people who avoid news because it negatively affects their moods.
The report indicates that information avoidance has doubled in Brazil and in the United Kingdom over the past five years.
The detailed qualitative study conducted in different countries by Nic Newsman, a journalist at the Reuters Institute, indicated that many survey respondents assert that news affects their psyche negatively.
“While the majority of people across countries remain engaged and use the news regularly, we find that many also increasingly choose to ration or limit their exposure to it – or at least to certain types of news, ” the report revealed.
“The proportion that says they avoid the news, sometimes or often, has doubled in Brazil (54%) and the UK (46%) since 2017 – and also increased in all other markets. This type of selective avoidance seems to be less widespread in Northern European countries such as Germany (29%), Denmark, and Finland (20%), as well as in some Asian countries such as Japan (14%).”
The findings demonstrate that the reasons for this avoidance are subjective and widely divergent.
“Across markets, many respondents say they are put off by the repetitiveness of the news agenda – especially around politics and COVID-19 (43%), or that they often feel worn out by the news (29%). A significant proportion say they avoid news because they think it can’t be trusted (29%),” the report stated.
Many respondents under the age of 35 say news changes their mood.
”Approximately 17% of respondents say that news leads to arguments they would prefer to avoid or feelings of helplessness (16%),” the institute stated.
“A small proportion say they don’t have enough time for news (14%) or that it is too hard to understand (8%).”
The findings also showed that young people under 30 now consume news from visual networks such as Tiktok and Instagram.
According to the Reuters report, changing trends, helped by the coronavirus, indicate that audiences are moving towards more digital, mobile, and platform-based news.
Another key feature of the report is that trust in news information has waned in almost half of the countries examined. Traditional media consumption dropped in almost every market, a decline that could not be offset by online and social consumption.
Other findings in the report are that younger generations are not thrilled to subscribe to media, big brands record higher digital subscriptions, consumers are reluctant to share their personal information, and TikTok is the growing network while Facebook is still the most used social media, among others.
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