Recent changes in the media environment make it easier than ever for people to actively shape their news repertoires according to their habits, needs, and preferences. As convenient as these practices seem, they may favor the development of misperceptions such as news finds me perception (NFM) and make it easier for some people to disconnect from news and political content. Building on the conceptualization of news avoidance as a general disposition and its consequential behaviors, this study jointly examines key individual-level predispositions that may motivate intentional news avoidance. Based on a two-wave survey collected in the United States, our results largely corroborate previous work showing the association of political interest, news overload, and trust in professional news with news avoidance, and stress the importance of including the NFM in the theoretical and empirical modelling of news avoidance. Our analyses also suggest that the linkages between these individual-level antecedents and news avoidance are contingent upon the design and robustness of the empirical tests, with NFM yielding the most consistent association across models.
news avoidance; political interest; news overload; trust in news media; news finds me; perception; new media