Taking a Break from News: A Five-nation Study of News Avoidance in the Digital Era

Mikko Villi*, Tali Aharoni, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Pablo J. Boczkowski, Kaori Hayashi, Eugenia Mitchelstein, Akira Tanaka, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This article comparatively examines news avoidance in a rapidly changing media environment. We utilize findings from a large dataset of 488 in-depth interviews with media consumers, conducted in Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the US. We aim to make a contribution to the study of news avoidance by providing a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the drivers, practices, and patterns of news avoidance as they occur in and are shaped by a variety of national contexts. We argue that news avoidance is shaped not only by individual characteristics, but is also manifested and performed as part of specific time frames and socio-cultural factors. We distinguish two drivers of intentional news avoidance: cognitive and emotional. The cognitive drivers are accentuated by distinct country-level contextual factors, whereas the emotional drivers for news avoidance are shared across diverse national contexts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)148-164
Number of pages17
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • News avoidance
  • audiences
  • cross-national research
  • journalism
  • news consumption
  • qualitative research


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