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Research

News Consumption Sky-Rockets by 60% Since Beginning of Covid-19 Pandemic

By March 15, 2021No Comments
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Nearly a quarter of those reading more news are hungry for more information on Covid-19 and the vaccine

The results of a new study have revealed that 60% of the British population have been reading more news since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Of these individuals, nearly a quarter (24%) are seeking information about Covid-19 and the vaccine. The survey of a thousand individuals was commissioned by Eskenzi PR and conducted by Censuswide in the UK.

Indeed, 12% have claimed they find the news inescapable, with just over 8% of respondents admitting to becoming addicted to the news. Remarkably, of the 18% who have chosen to read less news, nearly half (44%) attribute this to the anxiety it induces. This sentiment appeared to be more evident amongst women than men.

Other key findings:

  • 7% of those reading more news are looking for information about Brexit.
  • 26% of those reading more news are doing so because they want to be generally informed.
  • 7% of those reading more news are doing so because they are bored or have more time.
  • 30% of 55+ year olds admitted to reading more news for information on Covid-19 and the vaccine.
  • More women have chosen to read less news than men, with 20.6% compared to 15.5%.

In tandem with this spike in news consumption, nearly half (40%) of the population admitted to being hesitant about having the Covid-19 vaccine as a result of what they have read, be it through social or traditional media.  However, in spite of what people are reading, they will still take the vaccine, with 26% citing that it would be selfish not to do so or because they recognise it is for the greater good. The remaining 8% of cynics will take the vaccine, though begrudgingly. Only 7% of sceptics said they definitely won’t have the vaccine.

Interestingly, Greater London ranks amongst the top five regions with the greatest proportion of people reading more news and by far, the leading region sceptical about the vaccine at 61%. This appears to be playing into London’s lower take-up rates, where half of London’s boroughs had the lowest vaccination rates in England up to the week ending 25th February.

 “We are in an unprecedented time, navigating the challenges of a pandemic; and as a country, the challenges of Brexit. Our world today is riddled with uncertainty and this fuels people’s desire for more information and answers,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, co-founder and director of Eskenzi PR. “We are fortunate to have a wealth of talented and responsible journalists supporting us through this journey with substantiated facts. However, consumers are also having to contend with an influx of misinformation via social media. It is no surprise then that this bombardment of often contradicting information can lead to confusion about important issues, such as whether or not to get the vaccine.”