STUDY: In order to maintain their morale, more and more people

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In the face of an anxious and depressing news (the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the economic crisis), a large part of the public chose to avoid the news, according to a study conducted by the Reuters Institute, reports France Presse and AGERPRES.

“These results are a real challenge for the information industry: the topics that journalists consider to be the most important – political crises, international conflicts or pandemics – seem to be the ones that act as a rejection factor for some people,” said Nic Newman. , the lead author of this study by the Reuters Institute.

This annual report on digital information is based on online surveys conducted by YouGov on a sample of 93,000 people in 46 countries.

In 2022, surveys were conducted in late January and early February.

Another similar series was conducted in April on a sample of 5,000 people in five countries (UK, US, Germany, Poland and Brazil) to complete the initial results in light of the war in Ukraine, which began in late February. .

In total, almost four in ten respondents (38%) said that they intentionally avoid the news, compared to 2017 when this percentage was only 29%.

In five years, the percentage has doubled in Brazil (54%) and the United Kingdom (46%).

This desire to avoid the news – or at least to sort it out – is less pronounced in two northern European countries – Finland and Denmark, both by 20% – and in Japan (14%).

To justify it, almost half (43%) of the respondents who avoided the news said they were discouraged by its repetitive nature, especially in the case of news about COVID-19 and politics.

More than a third (36%) of them say that such news affects their morale (especially people under the age of 35, as well as the general population in the UK and the United States).

In addition, 17% of respondents who avoid the news say that it can lead them to quarrels that they would rather avoid.

And for 16% of them, the current news creates a feeling of helplessness inside them.

Also, 8% of them (among whom a high percentage of young people were found) avoid the news because they consider it too complicated to understand.

According to researchers, such a finding could lead media companies to ‘use simpler language and better explain complex topics’.

At the same time, 29% of people who avoid the news think that they are biased and can’t trust them.

Overall, the 2022 edition of this report shows a decline in media confidence after an increase last year (42% of respondents trust, compared to 44% in 2021).

Finland is the country with the highest level of trust (69%), and the United States and Slovakia are the countries with the lowest level of media trust (26%).

In Romania, it is currently at 33%, down, according to the report, published on the website of the Reuters Institute.

The 2022 report confirms that young audiences are increasingly distancing themselves from traditional media and accessing news through social networks such as TikTok.

The Reuters Institute for Journalism Studies is part of Oxford University in the United Kingdom.