In the fast-paced telecommunication world, people are selective of their readings and news sites. They select news through personal and public factors such as personal interests and uneven exposure, respectively. These same factors can cause other people to block out the news as opposed to accept it. Damian Trilling and Klaus Schoenbach decided to further study the cause of news avoidance based on the personal and public factors. They claimed that the environment was a public factor that can influence the mainstream and the scopes of the “overview news”, a collection of important daily news.
This collection depends on the public preference from the majority and the external efficacy which determines “the amount of news exposure” (Trilling) for the individuals. After their research study, they conclude that individual factors of overview news avoidance should be incorporated by their social demographics, educational levels, and political interests.
Nowadays, people are drowning in the overwhelming information– like politics, sports, celebrities’ news– from all kinds of platforms, such as newspapers, magazines, radios, TVs, etc.
Because of the unlimited access to news, a question like what kind of news is consumed each day and do we avoid overview news has faded in our sight. Different from the overwhelming news options, back in time with the low exposure of news, the news types tended to be “uni-styled”: the news publishers helped us to choose the overview news sets. But now, people have rights to obtain the personal preferable information regardless of what the news publishers want you to see.
It is well-described in the articles that the subjects and the contents of the viewed news rely on personal interests which the authors indicate these people as the “information hermits” (Trilling, 38), who only take information that fall under their interests.
The authors’ major research focus is on the individual level that attributes the avoidance of news including entertainment preference, political interests, civil duty responsibility, internal political efficacy, personalities, and social demographic. In addition to those, the authors also measure the minor concerns regarding the online and offline selection because there are limited offline choices. An example presented in the article discusses that the entertainment-lovers will have to stay with the offline news because there is no available alternative entertainment that matches up with their satisfaction (Trilling, 39). As a result, the measurement of offline and online exposure is also necessary to determine the effectiveness of news avoidance.
Trilling and Schoenbach’s research study in the Netherlands explains the multiple assumptions regarding the non-self-explanatory behaviors that cause news avoidance. The outcomes indicate some surprising factors and causes for the overview news avoidance. A series of statistical data was presented, such as “Two out of three people obtain a news overview of what is going on in the world every single day”, “only 11% use no information channel” (Trilling, 41). As the samples are selected from the high-internet-penetration-region, about 90% of the households have internet (Tenscher, 2008), the representative data does a good job to present the big volume of everyday news readers. In addition, the outcomes testify that people’s age and political interests have positive correlations on the amount of the overall news accepted each day, while the entertainment preference and the low-educated groups have negative correlations. What it adds up to the previous belief (but contradicts the general beliefs that choosing either offline or online may cause the avoidance the other)— “increased exposure to a specific type of source does not necessarily lead to avoiding other sources for the same purpose”.
Is that differentiation depends on whether that person is completely avoiding the overview news or the degree of exposure. The authors imply that individuals with low-educated background tend to completely avoid the overview news, while higher educated individuals tend to be more selective on information sources. In conclusion, the research is the statistical news avoidance evaluation within the represented population. It is referential to consider the effectiveness of personal interests, education levels, and age ranges into the conclusion that correlated to the avoidance problem. What can be drawn out of the results is that these people who obtain limited sources or completely ignore the overview news will end up falling into a bigger cultural and knowledge gaps. As a result, they cannot keep up with the changing time.