Investigative journalism retains the faith of the vast majority of the British public despite recent high-profile controversies, a new YouGov poll carried out with the London Press Club shows.
Just 12% of respondents believe investigative journalism is having a negative impact on the UK’s democracy while over half think it has a positive impact.
The poll, conducted ahead of a London Press Club and YouGov debate, saw some notable gulf in how the general public and those in the media view the topic, particularly when it came to funding. 75% of those in the media stated that the funding situation was poor or very poor, compared to 31% of the public.
But both the public and those working in the sector agreed that UK investigative journalism is in need of support from beyond the media in order to maintain both influence and quality. 29% of the public and half of those in the media saw changes to the law as the priority, with calls for more BBC resources to go towards it backed by 20% of the public and 41% of media professionals.
When it came to the future of investigative journalism, those in the media were overwhelmingly more pessimistic, with 62% describing the outlook in negative terms, compared to 29% of the public, although the fact that over a quarter of those in the 18-24 age group said they didn’t know what investigative journalism was raises some concerns.
The debate, held at the Stationers and Newspapermakers’ Hall, saw the issue discussed by a top industry panel, including Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, Andrew Gilligan and Heather Brooke, best known for exposing the MPs expenses scandal. It is the latest in a series of events organised by the London Press Club, with a breakfast with Sun editor David Dinsmore and a forum on women in media both taking place on November.