Engagement with news content has plunged during the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2021 and in some cases has fallen below pre-pandemic levels.
Why it matters: Americans have grown exhausted from the constant barrage of bad headlines that have replaced Trump-era crises, scandals and tweets.
The big picture: The level of news consumption in 2021 took a nosedive following historic highs in 2020. Despite a slew of major stories, readers have retrenched further in 2022.
Engagement with the WMD Liars peaked in 2020 when Covid-19, BLM chimpouts, and the US presidential election were ongoing. They then took a “nosedive,” in 2021. What does this “nosedive,” mean quantifiably?
Well Axios is helpful enough to give us the above graph from 2021. We can see that Social media interactions with news articles was holocausted quite thoroughly. Cable news and news media apps were somewhat holocausted, and even top 5 news sites had declining viewership. Cable news, disinformation apps, and major disinformation sites should all be treated as one entity. It makes sense to me that people are slowly transitioning to news sites as opposed to cable news, but even with that the disinformation sites still underwent a decline in audience.
Which continued in 2022. The cumulative loss of social media interactions is an amazing 82.5% audience loss. This is probably exacerbated by all the censorship by these corporations. If people have their accounts holocausted, they can’t read any propaganda on those sites, at least not through social media. And of course if the site’s twatter account gets oven’d, then obviously no one can read them.
Cable disinformation, disinformation apps, and the disinformation sites themselves have no such excuse. The cumulative loss in audience for those three respectively are 49%, 44%, and 25% over the past two years. Visual representation of the Disinformation’s audience retention figures can be seen below.
- Engagement on social media with news articles cratered over the past six months, dropping 50% since the first half of last year, despite more articles published, according to data from Newswhip. Engagement is measured by interactions with articles posted, which includes likes, comments and shares.
Then again, I might be giving them too much of an excuse with the social media disinformation engagement plummeting. Censorship isn’t much of an excuse anyway, but it looks like there is even more fake news pushed on these platforms, it’s just that nobody cares anymore. Or rather, 82.5% of the people who did care, now don’t.
The big picture: Survey data shows Americans have grown weary amid what feels like a never-ending cycle of bad news.
- The percentage of respondents to Reuters Institute’s annual Digital News Report that said they sometimes or often actively avoid the news is 42% in 2022, up slightly from 38% in 2017.
- Interest in news among those surveyed in the U.S. fell 12 percentage points from 55% last year to 43% in 2022.
Okay, so maybe it’s not a cliff after all, but it’s encouraging nevertheless.