Enrichment Arts & Culture

Nearly half of Americans think they would be happier if they cut out news for a month

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Story at a glance


  • More than a quarter of Republicans said that cutting out the news would make them much happier, compared to 18 percent of Democrats who said the same. 

  • Overall, 25 percent of those surveyed believe removing news from their daily lives would have no effect on their happiness at all.

  • Only 14 percent of Americans said they would be less happy without the news.

Half of Americans believe they would be happier if they quit consuming news for an entire month, according to a new poll.  

Forty-seven percent of respondents to YouGov’s daily question said they would be happier overall without the news; around 22 percent said they would be much happier.  

More than a quarter of Republicans said that cutting out the news would make them much happier, compared to 18 percent of Democrats who said the same.  

But overall, 25 percent of those surveyed believe removing news from their daily lives would have no effect on their happiness at all.  

Only 14 percent of Americans said they would be less happy without the news.  

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Meanwhile, separate polling from Gallup shows that trust in the media has reached historic lows. The poll found that 16 percent of Americans said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers. 

Broken down along party lines, just 5 percent of Republican respondents have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers, compared to 35 percent of Democrat respondents.  

Moreover, 6 percent of Republicans surveyed said they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in cable news, compared to 8 percent of independents and 20 percent of Democrats. 

Recent research from the University of Pennsylvania suggests there could be a basis for declining confidence in the media.  

Researchers analyzed 10 years of content from MSNBC, Fox News and CNN, finding changing biases over the study period. The researchers found that prime time shows drove an increase in polarization — with polarization between the networks widening after the 2016 election. 

“There has always been this assumption that media bias is fairly fixed,” said study co-author Yphtach Lelkes in a statement. “But what we see is that it moves, and pretty quickly,” he added.