News Avoidance

The phenomenon of news avoidance has recently gained substantial attention from both scholars and practitioners, as an increasing number of people seem to be turning their backs to the news. This trend is potentially problematic as news consumption has several positive effects. At the individual level, it benefits political knowledge and engagement. In addition, news consumption has positive externalities (i.e., benefits for society beyond the individuals who consume the news). For example, people in power are less likely to engage in malpractice if there is a high risk of being exposed in public by journalists. If increasing news avoidance erodes the economic foundation of the news industry, these effects will fade. At the same time, however, news avoidance can have positive effects on people’s ...

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