The Leveson Inquiry: The Views of UK Journalists
CIME has published the results from a survey concerning UK media regulation. CIME conducted this survey to gauge the reactions of journalists practicing in the UK to the scandal and their views on the Leveson Inquiry. In particular, we aimed to determine to what degree UK journalists found that the more controversial techniques available to investigative journalists were justified. We also wanted to discover the relationship of UK journalists with the public interest clause upon which much of the legality of investigative journalism rests.
CIME Leveson Inquiry Survey Report 2012 (pdf) prepared by Rosie Harrison, CIME Staff
‘The Leveson Inquiry’ is an extensive investigation into the regulation of the UK press. It began after the scandal which closed the pages of Murdoch’s ‘News of the World’ once and for all. It will examine the system that allowed criminal activity such as phone-hacking and police bribery to ensue. The Inquiry will inspect three key areas successively: the relationship of the press with the public, the policing of the press and the influence of politicians on the press. Witnesses will be called to give evidence before the chosen assessors, who include reputable members of relevant organisations and veteran members of the press or police. The Inquiry will culminate in recommending the future of press regulation. Though the form of this recommendation is yet to be decided, possibilities include the imposition of fines upon offending members of press and the introduction of a compulsory government statute through which to regulate press activity.
Reflecting the opinion of 612 respondents to the 2011 CIME Public Trust Survey, CIME presents a global report on media ethics from the point of view of news consumers.
According to the report, the majority of the survey respondents feel that mainstream reporting is not accurate and does not cover all sides of a story objectively, preventing readers from formulating their own opinion on the subject. In addition, they would consider changing news medium in case of finding out any breach of ethical rules and a significant part of them would even pay for reliable content instead of reading biased and inaccurate free news.
Furthermore, the report examines government interference and the impact of digital media on the ethics of journalism worldwide. Results on the national level are also available in the paper for countries represented with an adequate number of respondents, such as the Somalia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, Kenya, Hungary, Nigeria, China, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
CIME Public Trust Survey report 2011 (pdf) prepared by Csilla Szabó and Ibtisaam Ashur, CIME Staff
Media Ethics from the point of view of media people
In May 2011, CIME launched a web-based survey to find out how media ethics works in different parts of the world. The questionnaire aimed to get a general concept about how media professionals themselves see their position at work and the ethical standards of media in their country. The analysis reflects how media ethics is represented in other parts of the world. Besides revealing the differences between regions of the world in terms of their respect for media ethics, the survey will also tackle the needs for the improvement of ethical standards among journalists and media professionals.
The analysis reveals that journalists want to perform ethically but often lack the motivation, support and convenient circumstances to do so. In order to improve the standards of journalism all over the world, there is a need for a commonly acknowledged code of journalism ethics that journalists can adapt to their regional and cultural differencies while keeping to a universal general standard. Raising awareness among media workers is a crucial point in reaching media and gaining higher ethical integrity. This can be done through training, workshops and publications educating journalists and editors, both the lower and higher levels of media hierarchy. Journalists might want to report ethically but if their articles do not get through the decision makers, ethical journalism cannot succeed.
CIME Media Ethics survey report 2011 (pdf) prepared by Csilla Szabó and Tom Nunn, CIME Staff
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