Category Archives: media plurality

Trust in journalism sinks to an all-time low

On 16 February 2013 in my blog ‘Journalists trusted as little as bankers’ I reported the results of a Ipso/MORI poll which reported that journalists and bankers were trusted by just 21% of the people. The bottom group at 18% was taken by politicians. You would have thought that post the Leveson Inquiry, public perception of journalism might have improved. In fact its got worse.

A new YouGov poll for IMPRESS, the recently approved Leveson compliant press regulator, has revealed that public trust in the press is at an all-time low. Only 11% of people in the UK trust journalists at mid-market newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express to tell the truth whilst fewer than one in ten trust journalists at tabloids such as The Sun and the Mirror. Journalists at broadsheets and local newspapers fare a little better, with just 36% of the public trusting them to tell the truth.

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The Sun and the Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

This well-known work by Robert Louis Stevenson is commonly associated with the rare mental condition often called “split personality”, referred to in psychiatry as dissociative identity disorder, where within the same body there exists more than one distinct personality. It’s an apt description of News UK’s (previously News Corp) treatment of the SNP in Scotland and England.

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The media – what the parties say

With the publication of the SNP election manifesto on Monday we now know where the main parties stand on their policies on the future of the media. Labour’s election manifesto commitments the party to protect ‘the principle of media plurality’ and ‘preventing the concentration of media power in too few hands’. It’s the best commitment from Labour for decades and is likely to have enraged Rupert Murdoch who in February berated journalists on his tabloid papers for not doing enough to stop Labour winning the election and warned them that the future of the company depended on stopping Ed Miliband entering No 10 (Independent 20 April 2015). The party also takes the Leveson Inquiry as the benchmark for how to repair the damage done by the phone hacking scandal and pledges to stand by the victims.

The Green Party manifesto commits to enforcing a 20% maximum share in individual media markets as well as tighter rules on cross-media ownership.

Plaid Cymru’s election manifesto stresses the importance of ‘a plurality of opinions and information sources’ and highlights how concentration threatens to undermine coverage of Welsh politics and culture.

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