From fatigue to news avoidance: analysis of the society attitude towards news on COVID-19 in Latvia

Anda Rožukalne, Sandra Murinska, Ieva Strode

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


This study focuses on society attitude towards COVID-19 news employing theoretical findings on news avoidance and perceived vulnerability to the disease. Objective of this study is to understand, what is the impact of the COVID-19 news on people’s trust in news, behaviour and psychological mood during pandemic. Two surveys were used for the analysis of COVID-19 news perception: national survey in September 2020 (1005 respondents) and the Internet questionnaire in April 2020 (3414 respondents). Depending on self-assessment of COVID-19 disease risk, respondents were divided in five categories: not concerned, who assess the risk as low and unreal (14%); a little concerned (46%); moderately concerned (22%), rather concerned, who think that risk is high and real (9%), very concerned (3%). Analysing public attention towards news about COVID-19 contradictory data are obtained: 55% of respondents try to follow news, 53% say that they feel tired of news, 32% admit that they avoid news on pandemic. When assessing psychological impact of COVID-19 news 38% respondents admit indifference, 37% believe that news helps to feel safer, 28% of respondents suppress news, 27% think that news encourages to follow pandemic recommendations, 22% admit that they feel insecure due to insufficient and contradictory information about COVID-19. Respondents who rate the risk of the disease as higher and more realistic try to follow the information regularly and to a lesser extent acknowledge that COVID-19 news creates insecurity, hopelessness, indifference. The group of respondents, who assess the risk of becoming ill as high and real, trust the news more, rarely feel hopeless and less likely to avoid COVID-19 news. The members of the undisturbed group who believe that the risk of illness is low and unrealistic, are less interested in news, feel more tired, avoid the news more often, thus, this group can be described as pandemically vulnerable.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: PLACES - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 25 Mar 202125 Mar 2021
Conference number: 2


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: PLACES
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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