Responses to News Overload in a Non-Partisan Environment: News Avoidance in China

Tianchang Ni, Runping Zhu, Richard Krever

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies conducted in Western democratic countries with privately owned press presenting news from different ideological perspectives have found the phenomenon of news overload causes stress in media users (affective load) and this leads to news avoidance behavior. This study, conducting a structural equation modeling using AMOS 27, investigates the relationships between news overload, affective load, and consequent news avoidance behavior in China. The findings suggest, consistent with studies in Western democratic jurisdictions, that news overload and affective load influence users’ news avoidance behavior. However, in contrast to studies outside of China, this study found demographic variables of age, gender, education, and occupation had no statistically significant influence on avoidance behavior by Chinese social media news consumers. The results suggest that either social attributes and responses by media users in China are significantly different from those in Western countries or ideology plays an important role in avoidance behavior and the impact of ideology is different across different demographic groups in Western jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSage Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


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