Repetitive and negative news coverage in the UK has prompted people to avoid newspapers, causing sales to fall.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report found 35% of people admitted to avoiding the news, with the majority citing Brexit as a key reason.

NFRN head of newspapers and magazines Brian Murphy told betterRetailing he is concerned about the impact on circulation figures. 

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“I think that if Brexit doesn’t get resolved soon, it will certainly increase and add to the woes of circulation figures,” he said. “Consumers buy newspapers for opinion and headlines, and unfortunately the Brexit opinion pieces and headlines have all got a bit boring and dull.

“There have been too many headlines about Brexit and not enough about other things.”

News sellers had mixed views. One in an affluent area said his business-minded customers were less affected by Brexit fatigue, while another in Glasgow said sport and programmes such as Love Island had become the primary drivers of paper sales. 

Papers that have taken the heaviest circulation hit include the Star, down 18%, and the Mirror and Express, down 13% and 12%, respectively.