According to a study conducted by the Reuters Institute last month, 42% of Americans actively avoid the news at least occasionally either it depresses them or they don’t believe it. Around 15% indicated they had completely stopped paying attention to the news. The percentages of people who avoided it deliberately were significantly greater in other nations like the UK and Brazil. According to Reuters, the number of individuals who ignore the news is rising, and at just 26% of the population, faith in reporting in the US has reached its lowest level ever.
Amanda Ripley, a former Time journalist and the author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped – and How We Get Out, found all of this to be accurate. She said in a Washington Post editorial that she felt ashamed to admit that she has “consciously avoided the news for years” as a reporter. It left Ripley “so exhausted that I couldn’t write,” she claimed. She, therefore, controlled her intake by skipping all television newscasts and delaying her newspaper reading until later in the day. However, it never stopped bombarding her via social media and her phone.
And yet, because of how consistently rising their audiences are, huge, established news organisations remain sceptical. While there are short-term peaks and troughs in interaction with the news around important events, Professor Emily Bell, founding director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, indicated that the long-term trend is up.
As reported by The Guardian, the audience numbers for its website reflect these uncertainties. The US readership increased significantly during the early Covid pandemic months, then slightly decreased before increasing again during the 2020 presidential election. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in March, it once more reached its apex. However, the Guardian US’s long-term trend is upward, and even if readership declines, it will still be substantially higher than it was prior to the outbreak.
(with inputs from agencies)