This article comparatively examines news avoidance in a rapidly changing media environment. We utilize findings from a large dataset of 488 in-depth interviews with media consumers, conducted in Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the US. We aim to make a contribution to the study of news avoidance by providing a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the drivers, practices, and patterns of news avoidance as they occur in and are shaped by a variety of national contexts. We argue that news avoidance is shaped not only by individual characteristics, but is also manifested and performed as part of specific time frames and socio-cultural factors. We distinguish two drivers of intentional news avoidance: cognitive and emotional. The cognitive drivers are accentuated by distinct country-level contextual factors, whereas the emotional drivers for news avoidance are shared across diverse national contexts.
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