Avoiding the news to participate in society? the longitudinal relationship between news avoidance and civic engagement

Jakob Ohme*, Kiki de Bruin, Yael de Haan, Sanne Kruikemeier, Toni G.L.A. van der Meer, Rens Vliegenthart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Lower levels of news use are generally understood to be associated with less political engagement among citizens. But while some people simply have a low preference for news, others avoid the news intentionally. So far little is known about the relationship between active news avoidance and civic engagement in society, a void this study has set out to fill. Based on a four-wave general population panel survey in the Netherlands, conducted between April and July 2020 (N = 1,084) during a crisis situation, this research-in-brief investigates the development of news avoidance and pro-social civic engagement over time. Results suggest that higher news topic avoidance results in higher levels of civic engagement. The study discusses different explanations for why less news can mean more engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalCommunications
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • civic engagement
  • Covid-19
  • media effects
  • news avoidance
  • panel survey

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