New poll results: Public wants Leveson implemented now

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YouGov poll commissioned by the Media Standards Trust 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%)

The 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 PDF summary of the results can be found here.
This article was originally posted on Inforrm.



Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

February 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

how many more times, mr cameron? how many more times do you need to be told that a stat. backstop is needed? you had a clear opportunity to drain the swamp, cleaning up the image of the press and westminster alike. you didn’t; you backed off. and in doing so you increased the stench of corruption in public life. shame on you!

Rob Marksreply
February 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm

You get the impression that they (government & press) are dragging their feet in the hope it will all go away. I think that this time they are in for a disappointment. David Cameron does himself no favours with the public by ignoring the findings and recomendations of an inquiry he authorised. Maybe we should have all ‘news’ media including the printed paper type covered by the same rules as tv news, if they cannot accept the enquiry recomendations.

E. Crivelloreply
February 12, 2013 at 9:00 pm

is Mr. Cameron and the conservative party afraid of the media ? or do they need the mediua support to fend off any opposition by nursing conservative values. like the marketing of M.Thatcher. are we living in a democracy? What kind of kind of demcracy is it ?

October 2, 2013 at 10:06 am

‘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%)’.
Presumably you would want this to apply to non-conservative politicians? Perhaps if you said so, you would have more credibility with people who can actually see both sides of an argument

Leveson gave us a test to judge the worth of a press self-regulator; let’s apply it | Brian Cathcart | FREE Article Distribution, Press Release Distribution, News Distribution – No Registration! Submit a Free Article or Press Release | BUZZSTAKEreply
January 19, 2014 at 2:04 am

[…] with the judge on this – an extremely rare consensus. So did the leading victims of press abuse, so does the overwhelming majority of the public and so do more than 100 prominent people in the world of free […]

Eric Cowinreply
July 5, 2014 at 4:49 am

Leveson backed regulations are the only way forward to stop the press continuing to ruin people’s lives.
This country’s popular press and allied journalistic behaviour continues to be both a disgrace and embarrassment to the cultural standards of the UK.Under a smoke screen of protecting democracy and ‘seeking the truth’ our popular press consistently prints lies and distortions ,motivated primarily by seeking financial gain. They create an environment where it is virtually impossible for healthy levels of political debate to take place and are primarily responsible for the desperately poor standard of politics in our country.
They claim that theyuncovered for example’ The MP Expenses ‘scandal when in fact they created an environment where it was impossible for politicians to openly debate with thel public how much they should be paid.
It is vital that Hacked Off is given long term support by the public to raise journalistic standards here in Btitain.In so doing we will create a much healthier level of politics and a press which ordinary people can trust.

Brian Sweeneyreply
December 16, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I did refer a matter to IPSO, I thought I had a strong case of misrepresentation in an article written by a journalist on the Daily Mail grossly misrepresenting facts, and asked for an apology to be printed in the Mail. It was turned down, I appealed and after a time it was again refused. One of the grounds was that it was not presented as a news story, only the opinion of the writer. It seems that to misrepresent a hard news story is wrong, but an opinion article can distort the truth in order to skew the story the way its author want with no comeback. Will the Leveson report be implemented, not it seems by a scared Cameron government in hock to many of the same right wing papers they need support from for the coming election.

Jon Snowreply
October 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

Much time, money and in depth investigation has taken place through Leveson.
Basically it boils down to one thing, Cameron is a COWARD, frightened to do the right thing, is this someone you want running a country, Cameron Protect your unethical friends, and treat the people of this country as you did the Pig.

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