Issue Fatigue Over the Course of the Covid-19 Pandemic
A Multi-Method Approach
Keywords:issue fatigue, information behaviour, news coverage, news reception, Covid-19
During times of uncertainty, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, people tend to cope through active information seeking. However, information overexposure can also lead to issue fatigue, a state in which recipients are increasingly annoyed and may actively avoid further information on this specific issue. Against this backdrop, we were interested in (1) whether people in Germany have experienced Covid-19 related issue fatigue over the course of the pandemic, (2) and if so, how Covid-19 information behaviour may have contributed to it, and (3) to what extent TV news coverage exhibits characteristics that are considered to contribute to recipients’ issue fatigue. To address these questions, we combined a two-wave panel survey (2020) and a cross-sectional survey (2021) of the German population with a quantitative content analysis of Covid-19 related TV news (2020 and 2021). The results show an increase in issue fatigue over time. However, there was no evidence indicating that people’s Covid-19 information behaviour has contributed to this. Rather, both information seeking and the reception of public TV news were negatively related to issue fatigue. Notably, TV news coverage showed characteristics that are considered determinants of issue fatigue, including its extent and an overall ambivalent-to-negative tone.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Annemarie Wiedicke, Paula Stehr, Constanze Rossmann
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The authors agree to the following license and copyright agreement:
a. Authors retain copyright in their work.
b. Authors grant the European Journal of Health Communication the right of first publication online on the internet (on the publication platform HOPE of the Main Library of the University of Zurich).
c. The electronic contributions on the internet are distributed under the „Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International“- License (CC BY 4.0). This license allows others to copy and redistribute the work in any medium or format, to remix, transform and build upon the material with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in the European Journal of Health Communication . These conditions are irrevocable. The full text of the license may be read under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
d. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of their work, as long as the conditions of the CC BY 4.0 License are fulfilled and initial publication in the European Journal of Health Communication is acknowledged.
e. Authors grant the Editors commercial rights, using a publishing house, to produce hardcopy volumes of the journal for sale to libraries and individuals, as well as to integrate the manuscript, its title, and its abstract in databases, abstracting and indexing services, and other similar information services.
f. This agreement is subject to possible legal disclosure obligations.
g. This agreement is governed by Swiss law. Court of jurisdiction is Zürich.