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Chart of the Day: Americans Tune Out the News Media – See How Much

Axios – Engagement with news content has plunged during the first half of this year (2022) compared to the first half of 2021 and, in some cases, has fallen below pre-pandemic levels.

The war in Ukraine, a series of deadly mass shootings, the Jan. 6 hearings, and the Supreme Court’s revocation of abortion rights haven’t been able to capture the same level of attention spurred by the onset of the pandemic and the 2020 election. See this in the chart below.

News Consumption 2021 to 2022

News engagement plummets 2022

This is on top of the massive drop in news consumption the year before. The level of news consumption in 2021 took a nosedive following historic highs in 2020.

News Consumption 2020 to 2021

News engagement plummets 2021

Axios continues and gives more detail about engagement with news content across all platforms, which have declined significantly in the first half of 2022.

  • Cable viewership across the three major cable news networks — CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC — is, on average, down 19% in prime time for the first half of this year compared to the first half of 2021. Those losses skew heavily toward CNN and MSNBC, which are down 47% and 33%, respectively. Fox’s ratings are up 12% in that six-month span.
  • News app sessions for the top 12 mainstream most-trafficked publishers dropped 16% in the first half of 2022, according to data from Apptopia.
  • Website visits for the top 5 news websites in the U.S. by unique visits tracked by Similarweb dropped 18% in the first half of 2022.
  • 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 include likes, comments, and shares.

Reuters Institute’s annual Digital News Report has solid data spanning ten years that enable us to see consistent and relentless falls of traditional news channels such as print, radio, and television news. The report finds that online reach is flat or, at best, increasing slightly – but certainly not making up the gap.

Digital and social media offer a much wider range of stories, but this environment can often be overwhelming and confusing. While many people remain extremely active and engaged with online news, the abundance of choice in an online context may be leading others to engage far less regularly than they did in the past. See this in the chart below.

Reuters Source of News 2022From this data, what can we postulate about American consumption of news? Consider the following.

  • Americans are tuning out of what is happening to the country. Given the momentous events of the past few years, Americans have become more apathetic to what is happening. This becomes fertile ground for elites to propagandize the public toward their narratives.
  • Since Americans consume less and less news, they will tend to merely read the headlines to form their opinions. For example, “Trump tells Americans to inject bleach for Covid remedies” or “Republicans are white supremacist extremists.”
  • Though a small group, alternative media is thriving. This small group tends to be very informed and becomes the target of mainstream media as the “conspirators” against their propagandizing narratives.

Unfortunately, Americans are “news” ill-informed, and many will vote accordingly. What will it take to wake America up?

See more Chart of the Day posts.

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 RWR original article syndication source.

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  1. I think your conclusions are wrong. Especially for the conservative voter. I don’t watch TV news anymore because it has become and echo chamber, and theres nothing I can do to change the situation. I have opted to get my concealed carry license, pay off debt, save money and valuables, go to church and pray, and read the news on the internet. Conservative web sites have done and are doing a get job of keeping the public informed. Problem is that the communist left have done an equally impressive job of indoctrinating the public, and destroying American values over the course of 50 years. Just me personal belief, we are headed toward a separation of states. People with gravitate toward regions that agree to their proclivity of lifestyle and that how things will be for awhile. Also, some regions will form larger regions or unions of states.

  2. I think most people with above average intelligence have determined that the access news media is nothing more than an amplifier for the demo-communist/globalist agenda. It’s rather obvious if one peruses multiple news sites and gathers the information from both sides of the spectrum.

  3. I appreciate foreign coverage in Africa and Europe. Not BBC because they have become shrill ani-conservative/Republican and speak in a patronizing way about Trump.
    CNN / MSNBC / ABC / NBC / France 24 hr / NYT are borderline unbearable to watch and listen to.
    They are currently catering to a public that are perhaps the lowest common denominators…or….simply diehard far left Liberal Democrats who are kneejerk reactionists about Fox programs, and Breitbart News.
    Life is too short for manipulative one sided content.
    Lately I am watching DW the German channel because they do programs on farming house building and pleasant journeys and jazz music concerts. RT was taken off all Western Media, yet you saw the “other side and made your own observations
    Bigger problem is that all the news filtering from the North in South America seems to be controlled by CNN Spanish and the NYT. So the bias has become tremendously one sided towards a love Buden and hate Trump narration.

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Written by Tom Williams

Born down on the farm in America's Midwest, my early life was spent climbing the ladder via a long career in information technology. Starting as a technician, and after earning a degree going to night school, I eventually found a place working at ATT Bell Laboratories as a software engineer.

Later moving into management and then a long stint in a major management consulting firm working with major banking, telecommunications, and retail companies. Working in various states in America, I also spent considerable time living and working in several European countries - currently expat in France. As a side career, I was heavily involved in real estate development and an avid futures trader. This experience can give one a unique view of the world.

The storm clouds of dark change are near. Today America is at a crossroads. Will it maintain its prowess as a national leader in the free modern advancing world, or will it backtrack in the abyss of the envy identity politics of tyrannical socialism, and the loss of individual freedoms. The 2020 election may have decided this. Join the Right Wire Report team and make a stand.

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