Understanding News Avoidance: Paradoxes, Problems, and Priorities

Journalism Studies

Special Issue Editor(s):

Kim Andersen, University of Southern Denmark and University of Gothenburg

Benjamin Toff, University of Minnesota and University of Oxford

Brita Ytre-Arne, University of Bergen

The relationship between professionally produced news media and its audiences is under strain as increasing numbers of people around the world say they have little interest in news and actively avoid it. In the existing literature, news avoidance is seen as a key characteristic of today’s fragmented media environment, presenting a potential challenge for democracy, for journalistic legitimacy, and for industry business models. At the same time, news avoidance can be a reasonable strategy for individuals to safeguard their own mental wellbeing in response to a tumultuous and upsetting world. With growing scholarly attention to the phenomenon, questions remain about how to fundamentally understand different meanings and implications of news avoidance. In the field of journalism scholarship, news avoidance could challenge key assumptions about how, why, and under what circumstances journalism matters to individuals and to society more broadly. This special issue of Journalism Studies seeks to advance understandings of news avoidance, by refining existing and developing new theories of news avoidance, and by engaging in a critical discussion of implications of news avoidance to journalism practice.

The special issue seeks contributions that focus specifically on news avoidance and its implications for journalism but is open to a variety of approaches to the topic. This includes conceptual and theoretical work, systematic literature reviews, provocations and interventions, future directions and research agendas, and empirical studies with different contexts and methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed, comparative, and digital approaches. Importantly, all successful contributions must advance understandings of news avoidance in relation to journalism studies, and empirical studies should be clearly situated within journalism scholarship and contribute to theoretical and/or methodological developments. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The challenges and opportunities that news avoidance brings to the social and democratic role of journalism
  • News avoidance in the attention economy and digital media environment
  • News avoidance in everyday life, the experiences of less frequent news users, and motivations and practices of different forms of avoidance
  • Conceptual clarifications regarding avoidance of journalism or of news, and news avoidance in relation to other forms of media ambivalence or resistance
  • Inequalities and intersectionality in news avoidance
  • News avoidance and the role of journalism regarding climate change, pandemics, wars, elections, and other complex societal issues
  • Counterstrategies to news avoidance

    No payment will be required.

    Preparing Your Paper

    Articles should be written with the following elements in the following order:
    title page (including Acknowledgements as well as Funding and grant-awarding bodies); abstract; keywords; main text; references; appendices (as appropriate); table(s) with caption(s) (on individual pages); figure caption(s) (as a list)

    Should be between 6000 and 9000 words, inclusive of the abstract, tables, references, figure captions, endnotes.
    Should contain an unstructured abstract of 200 words.
    Should contain 6 keywords. Read making your article more discoverable,
    including information on choosing a title and search engine optimization

    Submit your article here: https://think.taylorandfrancis.com/special_issues/journalism-studies-news-avoidance/

    Publication guidelines are available here: https://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSubmission?show=instructions&journalCode=rjos20&utm_source=CPB&utm_medium=cms&utm_campaign=JPG15743&_ga=2.79332375.2001515779.1669637551275010595.1669637551&_gl=1*1e2vdl3*_ga*Mjc1MDEwNTk1LjE2Njk2Mzc1NTE.*_ga_0HYE8YG0M6*MTY2OTYzNzU1Mi4xLjEuMTY2OTYzODIwNS4wLjAuMA

    Deadline for full papers: 1 June 2023