America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Nearly halfway through President Biden’s first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump’s once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country’s attention.

Driving the news: Nearly every big news site saw its traffic decline in February, compared to a tumultuous January that included the Capitol insurrection and Biden’s inauguration.

  • Publishers’ traffic was down across the board, and many major sites saw traffic dip more than 20%, according to data from traffic analytics company SimilarWeb.
  • Politics consumption dropped most dramatically, tumbling 28%.

Between the lines: Interest in the presidency, specifically, has taken a steep plunge.

  • There were three times as many stories written about about Trump in February of 2017 than about Biden last month, according to data from NewsWhip.
  • Biden was discussed on cable news for an estimated 1,836 minutes last month, according to the Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer. In February of Trump’s first year, he commanded an estimated 4,669 minutes on cable news.

Other stories — including GameStop stock and developments on the coronavirus vaccines — have driven higher interest than they could in a Trump-centric world.

  • Interest in finance and business coverage declined from January to February, but not nearly as steeply as political coverage, and February’s consumption trends were still higher than the average over the last three years.

What’s next: These dynamics could change if Trump inserts himself back in the news cycle. Nearly 7 million people watched President Trump’s speech at CPAC last Sunday, nearly rivaling the number of people that tuned into the Golden Globes later that evening.

  • Many of the pro-Trump sites that built massive audiences feeding false claims of a stolen election over the last few months are coming out of the Trump era with new and bigger audiences.
  • Newsmax’s February traffic was lower than January’s, but it was still up 179% compared to the daily average from the previous 3 years.
  • OANN jumped 157% and Gateway Pundit saw a 70% increase, per SimilarWeb. Data from Comscore shows similar trends.

The bottom line: News consumers have become desensitized to the level of drama they had come to expect from politics over the past four years.

10 thoughts on “America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

  • Now that the circus is over, one hopes that we can learn to think sensibly, and to respond with empathy as we thoughtfully consider our shared problems and how to come up with solutions that will work for all of us.

    Stay safe, Scottie,

    -Shira

    Liked by 1 person

  • Scottie, I just appreciate the return to normalcy in the White House and its communication. For four years, we have watched the communications people try to explain the inexplicable or sand over more than rough spots created by a person who has a fast twitter finger. It has been a pleasure just ignoring the deceitful and seditious former president who does not have a lot of value to add to most conversations. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Keith. I admit I have enjoyed the daily press briefings a lot more now. I hated the belittling insulting gaslighting way of the tRump people. I also enjoy hearing a president that can speak in complete sentences and not repeat the same 8 words over and over. As for tRump being ignored, That will hurt him worse than most anything else. Hugs

      Like

    • Hello Lander7. Yes the click bait is going to be hard to sort out. I have already seen a bunch of sites offer fluff as news. I dislike the misleading headlines as they waste time. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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