WASHINGTON, DC: Two thirds of Americans say they feel exhausted by the news, a sentiment more evident among Republicans than Democrats, according to Pew Research Center.
The findings emerged from a survey of more than 5,000 adult members of Pew’s KnowledgePanel, an online research panel, conducted earlier this year. Specifically, 68% were “worn out by the amount of news” while 30% liked the amount they were getting.
The levels of discontent were higher among Republican or Republican-leaning independent at 77%; among Democrats or Democrat-leaning participants the figure was 61%.
Conversely, the Democrat side of the scale was more likely to be comfortable with the volume of news, at 37% compared to the Republican side’s 21%.
The greatest levels of news fatigue (80%) were to be found among those panelists who believe that national news organizations do not do a good job in covering important stories.
Among respondents who thought these outfits were doing “fairly well”, fatigue levels dropped to 69%; and among those who felt they were doing “very well” the figure was just 48%.
While one might speculate that this is at least in part a consequence of having a president who regularly criticizes mainstream news media, Pew stated that “This relationship between attitudes toward the news media and fatigue holds even after accounting for Americans’ political party affiliation”.
Overall, Pew added, 17% of Americans say national news organizations are doing very well at keeping the public informed of the most important national stories of the day, while 24% say they are not doing too well or not at all well; the largest portion, 58%, say the news media do fairly well.
Demographic differences were also apparent, with women more likely than men to feel worn out by news (71% vs 64%). And 73% of white Americans were wearied by news, much higher than either Hispanic (55%) or black Americans (55%).
Sourced from Pew Research Center; additional content by WARC staff