News-finds-me (NFM) perception is a belief that, in the era of social media, individuals can remain adequately well-informed about current events even if they do not actively seek news. While it has been examined in the context of general and political news, NFM perception has not been explored in the context of other genres of news. Through an online survey involving 1,001 Singaporeans, with the Planned Risk Information Seeking Model, this study examines how NFM perception is related to information seeking and COVID-19 knowledge. An issue-specific NFM perception was also proposed and tested in order to determine whether NFM perception and its associated effects differ when operationalized as general news exposure or issue-specific news relating to COVID-19. The negative relationship between general NFM perception and knowledge and the mediating role of information seeking on social media in this relationship are detected. It is also found that when the NFM perception is issue-specific (i.e. COVID-NFM perception), information insufficiency and intentions of information seeking on social media fully mediated the relationship between NFM perception and knowledge. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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