Digitox seminar September 2021
News avoidance and digital disconnection
This seminar brings recent research on use and non-use of news into the discussion on digital disconnection, asking how these related strands of work can profit from each other.
In this Digitox digital seminar, we are happy to have Tali Aharoni (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) as an invited guest. The presentation is titled: Understanding news avoidance from a texto-material perspective.
In today’s wide-choice media environment, and against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic, audiences’ engagement with the news media has been declining globally. While previous studies have focused on social- and content-related motivations to bypass the news, the physical attributes of news consumption and how they are interpreted by audiences are crucial to understanding news avoidance. Drawing on cross-national interview data, and inspired by the material turn in journalism-studies, I will presenta texto-material conceptualization of news avoidance as directed at both contents and objects, and in relation to different cultural contexts.
This is followed by a presentation by Hallvard Moe and Brita Ytre-Arne (University of Bergen and Digitox) titled Understanding news saturation: A complimentary concept to resolve problems in the debate on news avoidance
In this presentation, we will argue that the concept of “news avoidance” has derailed, and could use some help from research into digital disconnection. To continue to study what people do or don’t with news, we suggest the term “news saturation” which grasps the need for a balanced diet of good quality, and healthy intakes of individually preferred doses over time. With saturation as a complimentarily concept to avoidance, the field of journalism studies is challenged to conceptualize that there is such a thing as too much news, opening new avenues of empirical research and underlining the need for more sophisticated contextualization.
Trine Syvertsen (University of Oslo and Digitox project) will chair the discussion.