Making the headlines

July 12, 2011, 6:41 PM GMT+0

Almost four out of five British people believe that the nation’s tabloid press is out of control, our poll has discovered. The poll demonstrates the extent of the tabloid press’s poor reputation, with nearly three quarters of people expressing the view that tabloid newspapers are ‘not fair and accurate’ in their reporting.

Even so, more than two thirds of people believe that, in the wake of the still on-going News of the World phone-hacking scandal, it is only a small minority that is tarnishing the reputation of other honest and hardworking journalists.

  • 78% of British people agree with the statement ‘the tabloid press is out of control’
  • While just 14% disagree
  • 71% of people say that, generally speaking, tabloid newspapers are ‘not fair and accurate’ in their reporting
  • Just 9% think that they are fair and accurate
  • 69% of people agree that the News of the World scandal represents only ‘a small minority of journalists tarnishing the reputation of other honest and hardworking journalists’
  • While just under a quarter of people (23%) disagree with this statement

'Thank you and goodbye'

The poll comes as tabloid newspapers came under intense pressure following the phone hacking scandal which saw the close of the 168-year-old British tabloid ‘News of the World’ last week. The last edition of the newspaper, which was published on Sunday, bore the headline ‘Thank you and goodbye’. Publisher News International shut down the newspaper after allegations of phone hacking, which reports suggest could have targeted up to 4,000 people including murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, surfaced last week. In a full-page editorial on page three of the final issue, the paper offered an apology for the hacking of phones.

‘We praised high standards, we demanded high standards but, as we are now only too painfully aware, for a period of a few years up to 2006 some who worked for us, or in our name, fell shamefully short of those standards.

‘Quite simply, we lost our way,’ the paper confessed.