The Media Standards Trust is an independent registered charity which aims to foster high standards in news media on behalf of the public. We’re a ‘think-and-do-tank’, conducting research on important media issues but also running projects (such as building websites, running prizes and organising events) to promote quality, transparency and accountability in news. We are committed to the freedom of the press, and are not aligned with any political party or particular media company (though we work with a variety of news organisations and individual journalists and developers).

We believe high standards of news and information are critical to the health of our democratic society. These standards are being challenged by the enormous, revolutionary changes in the production, funding, packaging, delivery and consumption of news and information. Although the radical transformation of the news ecosystem threatens standards as never before, there is also a real opportunity for innovation in journalism.

The Trust was founded in 2006. The idea first came about in 2003, when Sir David Bell (then chairman of the Financial Times) led a discussion about the state of the news media at a conference with senior figures from the police, medicine, business, law, and the media. The discussion became heated: many of those outside the media felt it had become enormously powerful but remained predominantly opaque and unaccountable; those within the media felt those outside did not understand that news was going through a revolution, and that at the end of it all news organisations would have to be more transparent and accountable if they were to survive.

Since 2006, the MST has published two influential reports about the system of press self-regulation in the UK; developed www.journalisted.com to help the public navigate the news and journalists to manage an online CV; launched the Transparency Initiative, in conjunction with Sir Tim Berners Lee and the Web Science Trust, to make searching and assessing online news easier and more intelligent; partnered with Political Quarterly and the Orwell Trust in running the Orwell Prize, Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing; and organised a series of events on why journalism matters, the future of news and other topics.


The Board The Media Standards Trust is governed by a board comprising respected figures from civil society and the media. The board meets four times a year to decide on the overall strategy for the MST. Mary-Ellen Barker | Journalist […]...


The MST is a registered charity (number 1113680), and you can view our accounts in full on the Charity Commission website. To preserve our independence, we rely on donations from individuals, charitable foundations and organisations. We do not accept donations […]...


What is the Media Standards Trust? We’ve been called a ‘think-and-do-tank’, which isn’t a bad description (though it’s not a particularly elegant one either). We do some research, such as on press self-regulation and local news, but we also do […]...

Support us

You can support us by: Donating money Visit our JustGiving page, or get in touch to find out more Following us on social media Follow us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, or visit our YouTube Channel Or… Come […]...

Contact us

If you’d like to learn more about the Media Standards Trust or any of our projects, or find out how you can get involved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.   Media Standards Trust – London Head Office Phone: […]...

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