Most Americans feel overwhelmed by the news, survey finds

Almost 70 percent of adult Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center said they are worn out by the amount of news there is now, according to a new study released on Tuesday. The percentage of respondents who said they liked the amount of news they were subjected to was only 30 percent, Pew said in a report, while about 68 percent said they felt overwhelmed by the amount of news. In a similar survey during the 2016 election, less than 60 percent said they felt worn out by the news.

Interestingly, the Pew research found an ideological divide in how many people said they were fatigued by the amount of news: More than 75 percent of Republican voters and conservative-leaning independents said they were overwhelmed, compared with about 60 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters. The feeling of being worn out was also much more common among those who said they didn’t follow the news closely than it was among people who said the opposite.

Those who don’t feel the news media is doing a very good job were more likely to say they felt exhausted by the amount of news. About 80 percent of those who said national news organizations are not doing all that well at informing the public said they were worn out, compared with about 69 percent of those who thought the media were doing “fairly well” at informing people. Of those who thought the media was doing its job very well, only 48 percent said that they felt overwhelmed.

The Pew report found white Americans were much more likely to say they felt exhausted — almost 75 percent of those who identified as white said they felt worn out by the news. That was much higher than either the Hispanic or black American groups surveyed, where just 55 percent of respondents said they felt overwhelmed by the amount of news. Meanwhile, about 71 percent of women agreed that they felt exhausted, compared with about 64 percent of men who said that. The Pew report was based on a survey done between Feb. 22 and March 4 of this year, with a sample of about 5,000 adults.

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