In an era of information overload, understanding individuals’ news consumption and avoidance necessitates an examination of the specific contexts in which these practices occur. While research in journalism studies has mainly underscored consumption habits at the individual level, limited scholarly attention has been given to news avoidance within the structure of dyadic spousal relationships. This study shifts the focus from individual choices to the couple as a unit of analysis, exploring how each partner’s choice of media platform, content, and routines may be shaped by the context of being in a spousal relationship. Drawing on 82 interviews with Israelis, including 14 interviews with both partners of seven heterosexual couples, this study reveals three patterns of news avoidance within the context of a couple’s relationship: avoiding shared news consumption, gender-based news avoidance practices, and a division of media-related responsibilities. This study contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the contextual factors shaping news avoidance by elucidating how media use and non-use unfold within social relationships. It also demonstrates how news avoidance can be perceived as a liberating choice, enabled by partners’ negotiation of preferences, platforms, and routines.
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- in-depth interviews
- news avoidance
- news consumption