Media Standards Trust poll shows public have little confidence in press self-regulator set up without external review

 

Download this summary here: MST/YouGov Poll Summary Oct ’13 (pdf)

Access the full results here: MST/YouGov Poll Results Oct ’13 (pdf)

 

A YouGov poll of 1,859 British adults, commissioned by the Media Standards Trust and conducted on 9th – 10th October 2013, has shown that the public supports independent oversight and periodic review of any new system of press self-regulation.

  • 71% of the public believe that it is important that a new system of press self-regulation is periodically reviewed by an independent commission. 14% believe it is not important.
  • Only 15% would have confidence in a new system of self-regulation set up by major newspaper publisher, if there was no system of independent review. 73% would have no confidence in such a system.
  • 79% see a risk that, if a self-regulator is not subject to independent recognition, there would be a repeat of the illegal and unethical practices that were revealed during the Leveson Inquiry.
  • 68% believe that it is important that any new system of self-regulation developed by the press ought to be put out to public consultation before it is finalised. 17% believe it’s not important.
  • 56% of those who read newspapers in print or online want their newspaper to participate in the system of regulation underpinned by the cross-party Royal Charter, against 7% who do not.

Over half of Daily Mail readers (54%) want their newspaper to participate in the new system of press self-regulation, overseen by the Chartered body, as against 6% who do not.

Almost two-thirds of Times and Telegraph readers want their newspaper to participate in the new system of press self-regulation, overseen by the Chartered body, as against 12% who do not.

Martin Moore, director of the Media Standards Trust, said, “The public, like Lord Justice Leveson, believe that any new system of press regulation has to be reviewed by an independent commission – by a margin of 71% to 14%. People simply do not have confidence in a system of self-regulation set up by newspaper publishers without any external review or oversight. 8 out of 10 people believe that if this happens we risk a repeat of the practices that led to the Leveson Inquiry in the first place”.

Full results available from: www.yougov.com

 

Graphs – Headline Data

 

On Tuesday Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, rejected a Royal Charter put forward by the newspaper industry to oversee a new system of press self-regulation. Instead, she said the Government would sign off on the original Royal Charter that was agreed by the main political parties and supported in Parliament.

The Royal Charter will set up a body to recognise and periodically review a new press self-regulator, in order to check that it is working effectively on behalf of the public.

Newspaper publishers have indicated that they will not participate in the cross-party Charter and will continue with their own self-regulation scheme.

Q1: How important, if at all, do you think it is that a new system of press self-regulation is periodically reviewed by an independent commission?

 

Q2: How much confidence would you have in a system of press regulation established by the major newspaper publishers, if that system was not reviewed independently?

 

Q3: Imagine the press goes ahead and sets up a regulator without seeking independent recognition. What risk, if any do you think there is that there would be a repeat of unethical and illegal practices (such as phone-hacking and intrusions into people’s private lives) that were revealed during the Leveson Inquiry?

 

Q4: How important, if at all, do you think it is that any system of self-regulation developed by the press ought to be put to public consultation before being finalised?


Q5: Imagine the new system of press regulation based on the cross-party Royal Charter DID go ahead, but some newspaper groups choose not to participate.

Thinking about the newspaper you tend to read the most, which of these statements comes closest to your view? [Only asked to respondents who read a newspaper, online or paper; n=1457]

 

Results, by political party support

Q1: How important, if at all, do you think it is that a new system of press self-regulation is periodically reviewed by an independent commission?


Q2: How much confidence would you have in a system of press regulation established by the major newspaper publishers, if that system was not reviewed independently?


Q3: Imagine the press goes ahead and sets up a regulator without seeking independent recognition. What risk, if any do you think there is that there would be a repeat of unethical and illegal practices (such as phone-hacking and intrusions into people’s private lives) that were revealed during the Leveson Inquiry?


Q4: How important, if at all, do you think it is that any system of self-regulation developed by the press ought to be put to public consultation before being finalised?


Results, by newspaper readership

Q1: How important, if at all, do you think it is that a new system of press self-regulation is periodically reviewed by an independent commission? (RESPONSE: ‘FAIRLY IMPORTANT’ + ‘VERY IMPORTANT’)

 

Q2: How much confidence would you have in a system of press regulation established by the major newspaper publishers, if that system was not reviewed independently? (RESPONSE: ‘A FAIR AMOUNT OF CONFIDENCE’ + ‘A LOT OF CONFIDENCE’)

 

Q3: Imagine the press goes ahead and sets up a regulator without seeking independent recognition. What risk, if any do you think there is that there would be a repeat of unethical and illegal practices (such as phone-hacking and intrusions into people’s private lives) that were revealed during the Leveson Inquiry? (RESPONSE: ‘A SMALL RISK’ + ‘A LARGE RISK’)

 

Q4: How important, if at all, do you think it is that any system of self-regulation developed by the press ought to be put to public consultation before being finalised? (RESPONSE: ‘FAIRLY IMPORTANT’ + ‘VERY IMPORTANT’)


Q5: Imagine the new system of press regulation based on the cross-party Royal Charter DID go ahead, but some newspaper groups choose not to participate.

Thinking about the newspaper you tend to read the most, which of these statements comes closest to your view? [Only asked to respondents who read a newspaper, online or paper; n=1457] (RESPONSE: ‘I DO NOT WANT THE NEWSPAPER I READ TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS NEW SYSTEM OF REGULATION AND WILL BE DISAPPOINTED IF THEY DO’)

 

 

Note to editors

To see the poll results in full go to: www.yougov.com

The Media Standards Trust is an independent charity that fosters high standards in news on behalf of the public. It does this through research, through the Orwell Prize for political writing and by developing online news resources for the public including journalisted.com, churnalism.com and unsourced.org.

The MST does not support government regulation of the press or statutory regulation of the press. The MST supports an independent system of regulation that is entirely free of any government intervention and free from undue influence by large media corporations. You can read the MST’s proposal for a new system, as submitted to the Leveson Inquiry in the summer, here: http://mediastandardstrust.org/mst-news/a-free-and-accountable-media-report-by-the-media-standards-trust/.

The Media Standards Trust is no longer connected to the Hacked Off campaign. The Hacked Off campaign is a separate non-profit limited company (Company Number 08176670) based in Victoria Street. You can contact them at www.hackinginquiry.org.

For more information or to discuss the results please contact Martin Moore on +44 (0)20 7848 7950 or at martin.moore@mediastandardstrust.org

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,859 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken on October 9th – 10th 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules.

*All data is derived from categories with more than 100 responses, ensuring reliability of results. Results for certain newspapers have been merged in order to make the responses statistically significant.