Poll finds support for controls on media ownership
7 April 2015
A poll, commissioned by the Media Reform Coalition, has shown widespread support among the public for controls on media ownership.
It also showed support for a levy on social media and pay TV companies to fund new providers of investigative and local journalism and support for an inquiry into the relationship between news organisations and advertisers.
The YouGov poll found:
- Three-quarters of the public (74 per cent) believed that, in order to own a UK newspaper, radio station or TV channel, companies should be based in the UK and pay full UK tax.
- Two-thirds (61 per cent) were in favour of compulsory rules (such as independent editorial boards) in order to limit the influence of owners over editorial output.
- 71 per cent believed there should be controls on media ownership.
- 41 per cent, thought media ownership rules should be strengthened by setting fixed limits on the amount of media any one organisation could own.
The Media Reform Coalition said the poll, in the run up to the general election, provided clear evidence that the British public is concerned about potential abuses of power by large media organisations who continue to shape the political agenda.
When people were asked whether they would support a levy on the profits of social media and Pay TV companies to fund new providers of investigative and local journalism, 51 per cent agreed with only 9 per cent disagreeing.
Following the resignation of the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator Peter Oborne, in protest at what he saw as the skewing of editorial priorities by the Telegraph’s relationship with its advertiser HSBC, 64 per cent of the public said they would support an inquiry into the relationship between news organisations and advertisers.
Des Freedman, chair of the Media Reform Coalition, said:
"Which political party will be bold enough to promise to change our ownership rules in order to make sure that no single media proprietor is able to dominate our media spaces? Which political party will call for levies to support genuine independent journalism and to foster a more diverse communications environment?
"The YouGov poll demonstrates that the public have lost faith in existing ownership rules and want something more robust to defend the public interest."
The poll of 1566 people was commissioned by the Media Reform Coalition and conducted by YouGov, a member of the British Polling Council, on 30/31 March 2015.