Almost seven out of ten Americans feel “overwhelmed by the amount of news there is, a most recent poll by the Pew Research Center found.
According to the pollster, 68 percent of respondents tend to feel “worn out” by the sheer amount of news they are exposed to. Just three in 10 disagreed, saying that they “like the amount of news” they receive on a daily basis.
People who followed the news “only when something important is happening” were more likely to say they felt overwhelmed; 78 percent said so, against 62 percent of those who follow the news “most of the time.”
Republicans were more likely than Democrats to agree that there was too much news: 77 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners expressed “news fatigue,” while 61 percent of Democrats agreed.
This poll also comes at a time when the credibility of the media to properly inform the public and tell the truth is in question. The less confidence people had in the media, the more likely they were to be overwhelmed by the flood of news.
The fatigue has been building for a long time. In July 2016, in the midst of the presidential election, nearly six in 10 Americans felt “exhausted by the amount of election coverage,” according to Pew’s Jeffrey Gottfried.
Since then, the news cycle hasn’t let up. In 2017, the New York Times sent 30 percent more push alerts than in 2016, more than 750 in all. Slate framed its year in review around those push alerts, calling it “a year of relentless assault, as one news break after another pushed its way into our daily existence and found us where we live.”
Some demographic groups – most notably white Americans – are more likely than others to feel exhausted by the news. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of white Americans express fatigue with the amount of news, much higher than among both Hispanic (55%) and black Americans (55%). Women are also somewhat more likely than men to feel worn out (71% vs. 64%, respectively). Those ages 65 and older are slightly less likely than those who are younger to express a sense of exhaustion with the news.
Americans, it seems, are getting worn out.