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Print version ISSN 0719-3661On-line version ISSN 0719-367X

Abstract

SERRANO-PUCHE, Javier. Constructive Journalism: a response to users’ motivations for news avoidance. Cuad.inf. [online]. 2020, n.46, pp.153-177. ISSN 0719-3661.  http://dx.doi.org/10.7764/cdi.46.1714.

Even though the current media landscape allows to choose between very diverse platforms, sources and means to get information, there are users who decide to avoid the news. This article explores the reasons behind this news avoidance, relating it to the proposals of the so-called constructive journalism. Taking Spain as case study and through a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the Digital News Report -based on a pilot study and a survey to 2,006 users-, the results show that 50% of digital users in Spain actively avoid news, a practice more common among women, young users and low-income people. The reasons allude to two major factors. On the one hand, the users’ situation, either due to lack of interest concerning current events or to the perception that exposure to the news flow has negative effects on their mood (the main reason to avoid them, 37% of the cases). On the other hand, the media -both at the corporate level and the journalists who produce the information- are accused of failing to comply with some basic principles of the profession. Specifically, 29% of users do not consult the news because they mistrust their veracity. The media could address these motivations by opting for a more constructive approach to journalism, based on a news coverage aimed at generating a positive social impact.

Keywords : constructive journalism; news consumption; news avoidance; emotions; trust in news.

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