BBC Newsnight Phone Hacking Poll

A public opinion poll on behalf of BBC Newsnight.

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Date Published
14 Dec 2011

Further Description

Q1. Do you agree or disagree with these statements about the recent revelations of the phone hacking scandal and its likely impact on the future of newspapers?

People are pessimistic about the regulatory arrangements for newspapers, given the phone hacking scandal, and a significant percentage have doubts that things will improve. In particular:

• 85% agree that the phone hacking scandal shows that the current regulatory arrangements for newspapers have failed and they should face much tighter regulations
• 50% agree that the phone hacking scandal will accelerate the demise of newspapers
• While 49% agree that they are confident that, following the Leveson Inquiry into the phone hacking scandal, newspapers will improve their ethical standards, 45% disagree

The phone hacking scandal shows that the current regulatory arrangements for newspapers have failed and they should face much tighter regulations
Agree: 85%
Disagree: 11%
Don’t know: 4%

The phone hacking scandal will accelerate the demise of newspapers
Agree: 50%
Disagree: 43%
Don’t know: 7%

Hacking the phones of celebrities is not as bad as hacking the phones of ordinary people like Milly Dowler and the McCanns
Agree: 30%
Disagree: 68%
Don’t know: 2%

I am confident that, following the Leveson Inquiry into the phone hacking scandal, newspapers will improve their ethical standards
Agree: 49%
Disagree: 45%
Don’t know: 6%

• Across all age groups, people aged between 18 and 24 years old are the most likely to agree that the phone hacking scandal will accelerate the demise of newspapers
• Younger people are more likely than older people to disagree that hacking the phones of celebrities is not as bad as hacking the phones of ordinary people like Milly Dowler and the McCanns

Q2. Do you agree or disagree with these statements?

The phone hacking scandal will have some impact on newspaper readership:

• 60% agree that they would not buy a newspaper whose journalists had been caught illegally hacking the phones of celebrities. However, 1 in 3 (34%) disagree.
• 55% disagree that revelations of phone hacking by newspaper staff would not affect their decision whether or not to buy that newspaper, 41% agree.

I would not buy a newspaper whose journalists had been caught illegally hacking the phones of celebrities
Agree: 60%
Disagree: 34%
Don’t know: 6%

I would not buy a newspaper whose journalists had been caught illegally hacking the phones of ordinary families caught in the media spotlight such as that of Milly Dowler or the McCanns
Agree: 72%
Disagree: 25%
Don’t know: 3%

Revelations of phone hacking by newspaper staff would not affect my decision whether or not to buy that newspaper
Agree: 41%
Disagree: 55%
Don’t know: 4%

The recent tabloid scandals have made me stop wanting to follow celebrity tittle-tattle
Agree: 48%
Disagree: 40%
Don’t know: 12%

• Women are more likely than men to say that they would not buy a newspaper if they knew that the newspaper had been involved in the phone hacking scandal.
• Across different age groups, people aged 18 to 24 years old are the most likely to disagree that the recent tabloid scandals have made them stop wanting to follow celebrity tittle-tattle.

Methodology: ComRes interviewed 1002 GB adults by telephone between 9th and 12th December 2011.  Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults.  ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. 
 

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