Reasons for News Avoidance on Mobile News Consumption: An Overview From Turkey

Reasons for News Avoidance on Mobile News Consumption: An Overview From Turkey

DOI: 10.4018/979-8-3693-0896-7.ch005
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This study examined different news-following practices via mobile phones and questioned the reasons for news avoidance behaviour. In the study where in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants, 15 participants remarked that they had news avoidance. Five reasons for news avoidance behaviour have been identified: (1) disappointment, frustration, and stress avoidance; (2) losing curiosity; (3) lack of confidence and distrust of the media industry; (4) reduced quality and poor content of the news; and (5) overstimulation of the user. In the study, which revealed various news follow-up methods, it was seen that the main reason for news avoidance behaviour is the political atmosphere and social despair in Turkey and the world. News avoidance behaviour is both intentional and unintentional and has become a vicious circle that participants cannot escape. The digital platforms shaped by algorithmic selection are the main actors that prepare this outcome for the user who wishes to ignore the social realities despite the many stimuli surrounding daily life.
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In parallel with the global trend, mobile media use has expanded in Turkey. Recent research indicates that there has been a steadily increasing acceleration in both mobile news consumption and the rise of digital platforms as a primary news source (Kemp, 2022; Newman et al., 2021, 2022; Yanardağoğlu, 2021). The literature on mobile media use, algorithmic selection, and news consumption through digital platforms has revealed several different user attitudes against news reading (Fletcher & Nielsen, 2018; Ross Arguedas et al., 2022; Thurman et al., 2019; Van Damme et al., 2020). However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the loss of media trust and news avoidance grew bigger and today became a prominent issue for media and journalism studies (Adekoya & Fasae, 2021; de Bruin et al., 2021; Edgerly, 2022; Ravenelle et al., 2021; Villi et al., 2022).

This study, therefore, set out to critically examine the changing positions of users in mobile news consumption against digital platforms, algorithmic selection, and news avoidance. The research aims to discover different types of mobile news reading practices and reasons for news avoidance and to discover divergent positions of readers against digital platforms and mobile applications. To that end, qualitative explanatory research is designed to determine different news reading approaches in Turkey’s post-pandemic period. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 young adults aged 22-45 who are active digital media users living in Istanbul. The research questions are as follows:

  • (1)

    What are the different attitudes towards news consumption on mobile phones?

  • (2)

    Are the participants exposed to news or willing to receive news?

  • (3)

    According to which factors do the participants trust the news?

  • (4)

    Do the participants avoid news on their mobile phones; if yes, what are the reasons?

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