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Republicans are more likely than Democrats to suffer from news fatigue

March 25, 2020 | By Rande Price, Research Director – DCN @Randeloo

Most Americans are stressed by the amount of news they get each day. In fact, this sentiment has been building for some time. According to a Pew Institute study seven in 10 Americans (66%) feel worn out by the amount of news they are getting. The study was conducted among more than 12,000 U.S. adults.

The news cycle is faster than ever before coupled with instant notifications on cell phones. Today, the news comes at the consumer 24/7. Yet those watching or reading the news feel a sense of detachment.

Political differences

Interestingly, news fatigue is more common among those the least politically engaged. Even consumers not engaged in political or election news report feeling exhausted from it. There’s a similar attitude for those more generally interacting with political. Consumer who discuss politics a few times a month report feeling drained by the news by at least 10% more than those who engage in political news almost every day (69% vs. 59%, respectively).

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to feel wiped out by their news intake. Seventy-five percent of Republicans report being exhausted from the news compared to 59% of Democrats.  This same gap was reflected in 2018.

The toll

This Pew Institute study show the consistent impact of news consumption on consumers.  The reality of a 24/7 news cycle and its immediate availability appears to be taking psychological toll on consumers.

Immediate questions to ask include whether consumers will begin to tune-out and distance themselves from their sources. Publishers may want to talk to their readers to provide context and healthy distancing patterns in order for news content to be less stressful in the consumption process.  

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