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There Was a Massive Drop in News Engagement in 2021, Here’s Why

It’s safe to say that the years between 2016 and 2020 were some of the best for news organizations in general. They saw record breaking numbers of viewers as well as a vast amount of engagement on social media platforms and the like. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that this engagement declined dramatically in 2021.

On social media, various news articles and stories saw a 65% decrease in engagement. Prime time news on cable channels saw a 36% overall reduction in the number of viewers that they had with all things having been considered and taken into account. Apps that were related to news also declined with regards to how many downloads they were getting, with this number seeing a 35% dip. What’s more is that the top 5 news sites got 8% fewer unique views, as highlighted by Axios.


Donald Trump’s presidency and the rise of the coronavirus created the perfect storm for news media because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up driving a huge amount of traffic to their sites. However, with Trump having been voted out and people having gotten used to the coronavirus, suffice it to say that this engagement is no longer as easy to come by as it used to be because of how bland the news cycle now seems.

What’s even more surprising is that the new variant of Covid, Omicron, is not creating a bump in engagement which was something that many news organizations might have expected. Instead, there is a dispersal of engagement between pop culture and sports related news which is more or less how things were before the era of breaking and sensational news coming out every other day that would have dominated news cycles in other eras.

Read next: Merging The Future And The Past, The Creative Trends Guide 2022

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