News Use and News Avoidance

News play a crucial role for democracy. Through news, political processes become visible for citizens. Citizens, in turn, have the possibility to acquire the knowledge necessary to make informed political choices. In this research area, we study how people choose news media to obtain political information in changing media environments and how these choices affect the formation of attitudes and (perceived) knowledge. Also, we are interested in drivers and effects of news avoidance which refers either to extremely low levels of news exposure or the intermittent turning away from news. We want to learn how individual and contextual factors influence news avoidance and also explore consequences, for example for knowledge, participation and attitudes. 

Participating Researchers

Dominika Betakova

Svenja Schäfer

Recent Research

  • Schäfer, S. (2021). Incidental News Exposure in a Digital Media Environment: A Systematic Literature Review of Current Research. Full-Paper-presentation at 71st Annual ICA Conference  27. -31. May 2020, virtual conference.
  • Betakova, D. , Boomgaarden, H., Lecheler, S., Schäfer, S., Aaldering, L. (2021, September). I Do Not (Want to) Know! An Empirical Investigation of the Relationship Between Unintentional and Intentional News Avoidance and Their Predictors. Presentation at the (virtual) 2021 Conference of The International Journal of Press/Politics, September 13-16.
  • Schemer, C., Masur, P., Geiß, S., Müller, P. & Schäfer, S. (2020) The impact of electronic media use on well-being: A longitudinal analysis of adolescents across nine years. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication.