An opinion poll carried out by YouGov for IMPRESS [pdf] shows overwhelming public support for independent regulation of the press, with a majority favouring compulsory membership of an independent regulator. There is negligible public trust in a regulator set up by newspaper publishers.
A total of 70% of the public think that newspapers should be members of an independent press regulator but very few people favour a regulator set up by the Government (8%) and even fewer a regulator set up by the newspapers (3%). This is very close to the margin of error for a poll sample of this number (2.5%).
An overwhelming majority of the public (73%) would prefer a regulator independent of Government and newspaper publishers.
A majority of the public, 51%, thought that newspapers should be required by law to join an independent regulator. The press position – that newspapers should be entirely free to choose whether or not to join an independent press regulator, was supported by only 15%. In addition, 12% thought that newspapers should be free to choose whether or not join an independent regulator but should get legal benefit if they join.
The level of trust in journalists is at historic low with only 7% trusting journalists at tabloid newspapers to tell the truth. The figure for mid-market newspapers such as the Daily Mail was 11%. If newspaper were members of an independent regulator then 46% of the public would trust them more.
In common with other opinion polls which are inconsistent with the campaigning positions taken by the press this poll was not reported in any national newspaper (but was the subject of a piece on the Press Gazette website).
The full results of the poll are available on the YouGov website [pdf].
This poll is consistent with a number of others which have been carried out over recent years.
- These polls show a consistent lack of confidence in the press’ own self regulatory bodies – for example, a 2015 YouGov poll for Hacked Off showed that 78% would choose Leveson over IPSO, with only 14% supporting that body.
- There is strong public support for legal intervention in press regulation – for example a 2013 poll carried out by ComRes for ITN News [pdf] showed that 63% of respondents agreed that “The newspaper industry does not seem to have learned the lessons from the hacking scandal and should face statutory regulation“.
Details of previous opinion polls can be found at the following links: