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Interest in news down by almost half since 2015, report reveals

17 Jun 2024 2 minute read
Daily Mail and Sun front pages

Interest in news has almost halved in the UK since 2015, according to a new report – with many citing ’news fatigue’ and ‘depressing content’ as reasons why.

The number of Britons interested in the news has fallen from 70% in 2015 to 38% in 2024, research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism has found.


The research, completed before the general election was announced, was published as part of the institute’s annual digital news report.

It also shows that almost half of Britons try to avoid the news, with 46% of respondents saying they often or sometimes do.

Respondents were also asked about news fatigue, with 38% saying they felt worn out by the amount of news.

Many of those quoted referred specifically to the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, the Reuters Institute said.

The UK is not alone in its decline in interest in news, with the overall trend remaining downward internationally, the report said.

Similarly, news avoidance is up internationally, with significant increases in Brazil, Spain, Germany, and Finland.

“Depressing news agenda”

Nic Newman, senior research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and lead author of the report, said: “Interest in news has been affected by the often depressing news agenda including intractable conflicts in the Middle East and Gaza.

“But audiences also complain about ‘too much politics’ along with the toxicity of much of the debate that often accompanies it.

“Many people also feel overwhelmed by news, the relentless 24-hour nature of news via smartphones and social media.

“People are increasingly looking to get away from that – at least some of the time, or around some subjects – to protect their mental health.”

He said that news outlets recognise they need to address these concerns, with more explanatory journalism and news formats – including short form video – being adopted.

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1 month ago

When you copy and paste lies for clicks, you will eventually annoy, rather than educate a reader.

1 month ago

The only purpose of the mainstream media is to influence opinion not to inform.

Most news output is now made up of dire warnings of what could happen sometime in the future rather than events that have actually happened.
People are getting bored of sensational scaremongering.

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