News is almost unavoidable these days. Twenty-four-hour cable news networks, a nearly endless supply of news websites, and of course, social media, appear to have combined to make Americans feel “worn out.”
Nearly 70 percent of people questioned in a recent survey said they were spent by the volume of news, according to a recent survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center. The remaining 30 percent said they like the amount of news they get.
Both Democrats and Republicans felt news fatigue, but Pew found Republicans and Republican-leaning people more apt to express “feelings of exhaustion,” with 77 percent saying they were tired of the news. That compares to 61 percent among Democrats and the Democrat-leaning.
Not surprisingly, those who reported the most news exhaustion were the ones who consumed the most news.
Pew also found that those who had a less favorable view of the news media were more likely to report being fatigued.
Among those who said the national news media’s job of informing their audiences was not done too well or not at all well, 80 percent said they were fatigued.
For those who said the media do “fairly well,” 69 percent reported exhaustion. For those who think the media do “very well,” only 48 percent mentioned fatigue.
Only 17 percent of those surveyed said national news organizations do very well at informing the public. Nearly a fourth of people polled gave responses of “not too” well or “not at all well” when asked to comment on how well those outlets were doing in keeping the public informed about the most important national stories of the day.
Fifty-eight percent said the media do “fairly well.”
One Twitter user said she combated news fatigue by narrowly focusing on a few topics.
One way I avoid news fatigue is by focusing mainly on 3 topics.
I don’t have the capacity to contribute to more than 3, else my efforts become diluted and ineffective.
-Abuse in church/homeschool
-Equality for women
What are your 3 topics?
— Ashley Easter (@ashleymeaster) June 4, 2018
Another person blamed her fatigue on fake news.
I don’t have news fatigue; I have “sorting through fake news” fatigue.
— Karen Brennan (@karenbrennanb) June 7, 2018
Levels of news fatigue differed among demographic groups, with 73 percent of whites saying they were exhausted. That compares to 55 percent of Hispanics, and 55 percent of blacks. Women were more likely to feel news exhaustion than men (71 percent and 64 percent respectively). Americans over the age of 65 were less likely than younger people to report fatigue, Pew said.