News consumption and news avoidance during Corona
More than ever, the public has a need to be informed during this Covid-19 crisis. With a plethora of news, talk shows, current affairs programs and live blogs for people to follow the most recent developments, the public does not have to worry about not getting the chance of being informed. In fact, this pandemic has been described as an infodemic by the World Health Organization, describing the abundance of information out there, including rumours and misinformation.
The purpose of this study is to see how news consumption was during the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis.
In the beginning of the pandemic, the public consumed more than news (61%) than before the crisis and also used a diversity of sources to become informed.
At the same time, a larger group of people (53%) said to take a break from news about Covid-19. In the months following the crisis, the less people consumed news, the need to take a break also decreases. We also see that the longer the crisis takes, the more need there is to avoid the news. Reason for this is they they feel overloaded by information (59%).
01 April 2020 - 01 January 2020
The data were gathered at three moments via an online panel survey during the first four months of the Covid-19 crisis in The Netherlands. The first moment was sent on April 6th 2020, three weeks after the lockdown was introduced. The second moment was sent on May 6th 2020 and closed on May 25th, during this period the primary schools were reopened. In total a representative sample of 1500 Dutch citizens joined this survey.