News Avoidance during the Covid-19 Crisis: Understanding Information Overload

Kiki de Bruin*, Yael de Haan, Rens Vliegenthart, Sanne Kruikemeier, Mark Boukes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the degree of news avoidance during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Netherlands. Based on two panel surveys conducted in the period April–June 2020, this study shows that the increased presence of this behavior, can be explained by negative emotions and feelings the news causes by citizens. Moreover, news avoidance indeed has a positive effect on perceived well-being. These findings point to an acting balance for individual news consumers. In a pandemic such as Covid-19 news consumers need to be informed, but avoiding news is sometimes necessary to stay mentally healthy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1394-1410
Number of pages17
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Covid-19 crisis
  • infodemic
  • information overload
  • news avoidance
  • news consumption
  • well-being


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