Avoiding News is Hard Work, or is it? A Closer Look at the Work of News Avoidance among Frequent and Infrequent Consumers of News

Stephanie Edgerly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study explores the experience of news avoidance among two groups—those who frequently consume news and those who do not. I focus the work of news avoidance, by asking: in today’s media environment, when is news avoidance easy and when is it difficult? Data for this study comes from 45 qualitative interviews conducted with US adults during the fall of 2020. Interviewees were selected based on their prior levels of either low or high news consumption. The findings reveal stark differences in the experience of news avoidance among the interviewees. For some, news avoidance is easily accomplished and well-integrated into their daily routines, while for others, it presents a formable challenge that disrupts their established habits. Notably, infrequent news consumers are more likely to say news avoidance is easy, whereas frequent news consumers are evenly split regarding the perceived ease and difficulty of avoiding news. Ultimately, these findings offer a detailed understanding of how news avoidance is practiced in everyday life and its relationship to news consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism Studies
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • audience studies
  • in-depth interviews
  • News avoidance
  • news consumption
  • news habits
  • qualitative audience research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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