Poll shows overwhelming majority of the public in favour of independent press regulation, backed up by law
The results in full are provided by YouGov here
A YouGov poll commissioned by the Media Standards Trust has found overwhelming public support for a new system of independent regulation, established by law. The poll was conducted from 21st -23rd November 2012 amongst a large representative sample of the GB population (3,620 Adults)
When asked how newspapers in Britain should be regulated, 79% chose the option “There should be an independent press regulator, established by law, which deals with complaints and decides what sanctions there should be if journalists break agreed codes of conduct.” Only 9% believe that newspapers should establish their own body to do this.
A lack of trust in continued self-regulation was also demonstrated by 82% of respondents agreeing that ‘it is no longer acceptable for newspaper owners and editors to control the system for dealing with complaints about press behaviour’
86% believe that there is a risk (56% ‘a strong risk’) that if the press continue to regulate themselves, there will be a repeat of unethical and illegal practices (such as phone-hacking and intrusions into people’s private lives) that have been revealed during the Leveson Inquiry
Martin Moore, Director of the Media Standards Trust, said “The public are absolutely clear about what they want – an independent system whose independence is guaranteed in law. If editors and owners are once again in charge of the new system almost 9 out of 10 people think there’s a risk of the same illegal and unethical practices happening again”.
Summary of results:
- 79% of respondents are in favour of an independent press regulator, established in law; 9% favour a newspaper-established body (See Figure 1)
- 86% believe there is a risk that, if the press continue to regulate themselves, there will be a return to unethical and illegal practices; 56% believe that there is a ‘Strong Risk’. 5% believe that there is ‘no real risk’, or ‘no risk at all’ (See Figure 2)
- 82% believe that national newspapers should be obliged by law to join a new regulatory system; 8% believe national newspapers should be allowed to opt out (See Figure 3)
- 82% agree (50% ‘Strongly’) that it is no longer acceptable for newspaper owners and editors to control the system for dealing with complaints; 4% disagree (1% ‘strongly’) (See Figure 4)
- 70% disagree with the statement that “we can trust newspaper editors to ensure that their journalists act in the public interest”; 11% agree (See Figure 5)
- 60% believe that Leveson should listen to victims of unethical press behaviour MOST when making recommendations, against 5% journalists, 3% owners, 2% politicians (Figure 6)
- 60% believe that the Government should implement the recommendations, against 6% who do not; 34% don’t know (Figure 7)
- 47% trust Lord Justice Leveson ‘A Great Deal’ (8%) or ‘A Fair Amount’ (39%) to make fair and effective recommendations on regulating the press, while 33% trust him ‘Not Very Much’ (29%) or ‘Not At All’ (6%) to do this. 21% don’t know (Figure 8).
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,620 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st – 23rd November 2012. 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