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News consumption takes nosedive to start 2022, data shows

Reporter at news or press conference, writing notes, holding microphone. Media event. (Photo by Mihajlo Maricic)

More Americans are tuning out news coverage in 2022 than those at the beginning of last year, according to a new report.

Reader and viewer engagement with news content across all platforms declined significantly in the first half of 2022, Axios reported this week, citing data from NewsWhip Apptopia, SimilarWeb and Nielsen ratings.

Social media traction of news articles, specifically, is down 50 percent from last year, the analysis found, while news media app sessions are down 16 percent and unique visitors to the top five news sites in the country are down 18 percent collectively.

In terms of cable news viewership, ratings among the three major networks’ — Fox News, CNN and MSNBC — prime-time audience is down a total of 19 percent, the outlet noted. While Fox’s prime time ratings have trended upward 12 percent since last year, the data show CNN and MSNBC down 47 percent and 33 percent, respectively.

Most notably, news consumption through social media among Americans has dipped to pre-pandemic levels, Axios reported. Interactions on social media for news articles have dropped 42 percent this year compared to the first half of 2019, before the pandemic began and the 2020 presidential election was in full swing.

The numbers suggest that news-consuming Americans have grown weary amid the 24-hour news cycle that has included serious topics in recent months, including the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and the buildup to the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.

Tags news consumption News media
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