RESEARCH published on 05 Jul 2020

Experimenting with News Fatigue and News Avoidance

Audiences may have been consuming a lot of news lately, but the dangerous trend of news avoidance has started to re-appear. Viewers become tired of doom-laden reporting and the impact that downbeat news has on their overall mood. So they simply switch off when the news comes on.

Media analyst Thomas Baekdal explains his own experiment with avoiding news in this commissioned report. After immersing himself in a news-free bubble, he was able to understand this phenomenon much better, enabling him to offer a different angle in his analysis of what is driving this trend, which according to various polls seems to be gaining traction year after year.

In the longer term, the avoidance of news threatens the role of media in supporting citizens to take informed decisions and participate in the public debate, thus weakening democracy. A much-needed debate is still pending on the subject of news avoidance. This publication is our contribution.


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