Why do people actively avoid the news?

Too upsetting, too unreliable, too distracting - there are many reasons for a headline detox

According to research, many people in Ireland avoid the news as it has a ‘negative effect’ on their mood. Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

According to research, many people in Ireland avoid the news as it has a ‘negative effect’ on their mood. Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

You don’t have to be a journalist running into the warm embrace of a holiday to know that, sometimes, it is hard to avoid the news. The news follows us to the airport, it boards the aircraft with us, then it digs into our melted brains via lamentably good poolside wifi connections. The news is airborne.

According to the Reuters Digital News Report, published on the crest of the June heatwave, 41 per cent of Irish consumers say they never actively avoid the news. Good for them. That does, however, mean that 59 per cent are familiar with the concept of putting their head in the sand, if only temporarily.

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