'News fatigue' hits American public in Trump era - survey

2018-06-06 10:31

Americans are becoming increasing exhausted by the avalanche of news - even more so than during the 2016 presidential election, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The Pew Research Center survey showed 68% of respondents feel "worn out" by the amount of news they are seeing, compared with only 30% who say they like the amount of information they get.

The percentage suffering from information overload is higher than the 59% in a similar survey during the 2016 election, Pew found.

More Republicans than Democrats expressed feelings of news exhaustion, and levels were higher among those with an unfavorable view of the media.

The survey of 5 035 adults conducted from February 22 to March 4 found that 77% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents expressed feelings of news exhaustion, compared with 61% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.

The survey asked respondents about national news but did not specifically mention stories about investigations of the Donald Trump administration or the president's attacks on mainstream media.

Two-thirds of those surveyed said they followed national news most of the time, and one-third followed developments only when something important is happening.

"Feeling overwhelmed by the news is more common among those who follow the news less closely than among those who are avid consumers," said a blog post by researchers Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel.

Nonetheless, 75% said the media do "very well" or "fairly well" in keeping them informed about important news.

"Those less favorable toward the news media are also the most 'worn out'," the researchers said.

"Eight-in-ten of those who think national news organisations do 'not too' or 'not at all well' in informing the public are feeling this exhaustion."

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