Media Standards Trust YouGov Poll: Public Supports Full Implementation of Leveson

10 02 2013

yougov-Feb-13-imageA YouGov poll commissioned by the Media Standards Trust [pdf] and conducted on 31 January to 1 February 2013, has shown strong public support behind implementation of Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations for a new system of press regulation.

The poll of 2,030 GB Adults (18+) shows almost three quarters of the public back implementation of the recommendations in the Leveson Report and want more transparency in relationships between politicians and the media.

  • 74% believe the government should implement Lord Justice Leveson’s recommendations – against 9% who do not
  • 73% would have ‘not much’ or ‘no’ confidence in a new system of voluntary press regulation with no legal backing
  • 83% think that politicians like Boris Johnson and George Osborne should either not be having dinner with people like Rupert Murdoch (27%) or, if they do, should be transparent about them (56%)

downloadThe public also feel that the recommendations of the report should be implemented quickly – 64% favour introduction of a new regulatory system within 12 months or sooner.

In the same poll, respondents agreed strongly with Leveson’s recommendations about transparency in the relationship between senior politicians and media owners, newspaper editors and senior executives:

  • 73% believe that meetings between politicians and senior media figures should be made public, against 10% who believe they should not
  • 83% think that politicians like Boris Johnson and George Osborne should either not be having dinner with people like Rupert Murdoch (27%) or, if they do, should be transparent about them (56%)

A clear majority of the public back a new law to underpin the new system. 52%believe that press regulation requires legal backing to be effective and independent, compared with 23% who feel that legal backing would risk freedom of the press and political interference.

Confidence and trust in the role of the press in setting up a new regulatory system is low – 73% would have ‘not much’ or ‘no’ confidence in a new system of voluntary press regulation with no legal backing, while 82% see a risk in a repeat of the press abuses revealed during the Leveson Inquiry, if the press continues to be regulate themselves through a similar system to the current one.

There is public support for Leveson’s key recommendations:

  • 79% think it is important that there is regular independent oversight of the system set up by the press
  • 73% think it is important that a system of arbitration is introduced as an alternative to courts

Director of the Media Standards Trust, Dr. Martin Moore, said

“This poll shows that the public overwhelmingly support implementation of Leveson, and do not have confidence in a system set up by the press without proper independent oversight. There’s a real fear that, if things do not change substantially, the same illegal and unethical practices will recur.”

“The public also want politicians to become a lot more transparent, and not revert to the cosy relationships they enjoyed before the Leveson Inquiry was set up”

A summary of the results can be found here [pdf].


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2 responses

11 02 2013
Law and Media Round Up – 11 February 2013 « Inforrm's Blog

[…] Media Standards Trust YouGov Poll: Public Supports Full Implementation of Leveson […]

7 01 2017
A RESPONSE TO THE LEVESON CONSULTATION, PART 3: THE STATE OF PRESS REGULATION | Hacked Off

[…] of people support a regulator such as Impress. This has been the consistent view of the public, as expressed in opinion polls, since before the conclusion of the Leveson […]

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