The phrase, "I don't watch the news; it depresses me," is common. News makes us think and feel. Learning about a news event, the framing by the media, and the opinions often presented as facts affect how we see the world. News also affects our lives, dispositions, and feelings; news moves us emotionally, impacts how we respond to learning something new, and how we react to emotions and interpretations.
A recent study in the journal Political Communication by Dr Benjamin Toff, and Prof. Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, "How News Feels: Anticipated Anxiety as a Factor in News Avoidance and a Barrier to Political Engagement," sheds light on this phenomenon.
Focused on surveys in the UK,
"This study uses an inductive, qualitative approach to examine the perspectives of lower- and middle-class people in the United Kingdom who regularly access little or no professionally-produced news. Findings suggest that people's preexisting perspectives about what news is (anxiety-inducing) and offers for them (little practical value) play an important role in shaping attitudes toward news and subsequent behaviour. These perspectives highlight the importance of emotional dimensions of news use beyond its presumed value as a source of information…. Promoting more informed societies requires grappling with these entrenched perspectives."
How does that make you feel?