Negative news pushes readers away, say a recent study published on Journalism Studies.
Is it possible to inform readers in a less anxious way so that they can return to read the news? To understand news avoidance, just read any newspaper, and you will be immediately overwhelmed by negative news with no apparent solution, which generates pessimism and mistrust.
According to a EuroDAP study (2011), mass media is the main cause of anxiety and panic attacks. This contributes to generating news avoidance, according to the latest Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report. This is bad also for democracy, as being well-informed means being able to make conscious choices.
Why does news avoidance happen? And which solutions can be implemented to bring readers closer to the news? Before finding out, let’s try to understand which are the main reasons that lead to news avoidance.
Distinguishing unintentional and intentional news avoidance
According to a recent study published in the international journal Journalism Studies, there are basically three reasons that lead readers to intentional news avoidance:
- excess of information;
- news is too negative;
- lack of confidence in the news.
The main reason for unintentional news avoidance is the excess of content, which leads to focus only on the news you prefer the most, usually entertainment.
Turn back to constructive, fact-based, and transparent news is a must for our society, for the news industry, and for our democracy.
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