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  • How Newspapers Covered Press Regulation after Leveson

    September 2014

    Dr. Gordon Neil Ramsay

  • 3MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    CONTENTS

    1. Executive Summary 4

    2. Timeline of Events 9

    3. Sampling and Methodology 12

    4. Press Regulation: Overall Figures 17

    5. How Each Newspaper Covered Press Regulation 27

    6. Coverage of Press Regulation in Leader and Opinion Articles 47

    7. Coverage of Press Regulation in Factual Articles 57

    8. How the ‘Threat to Press Freedom’ was Portrayed 63

    9. How Coverage of Press Regulation Failed to Reflect Public Opinion 73

    Appendix 1: Newspaper Coverage Breakdown 96

    Appendix 2: All Leader Articles with Classifications 107

    Appendix 3: Dataset Variable List 118

    Appendix 4: Press Regulation Guide for Coders 121

    Appendix 5: Inter-Coder Reliability (ICR) Testing - Methods and Results 129

  • 4Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Press Regulation Coverage: Overall Figures

    • Coverage of press regulation in the UK national press was extensive. In the year following the publication of the Leveson Report, 2,047 articles

    were published across the national daily and Sunday press, an average of

    5.6 articles per day as compared to 4.0 per day in the 18 months from July

    2011 until publication of the Leveson report in November 2012.1 There were

    particularly high levels of coverage in three periods: in the aftermath of

    the publication of the Leveson Report; around the agreement on the Cross-

    Party Royal Charter in March 2013; and in October 2013, when the Royal

    Charter was sealed following the Privy Council’s rejection of the newspaper

    industry’s own draft Royal Charter.

    • The majority of coverage contained some evaluation of Leveson or the Charter. Over two-thirds of articles (1,421 of 2,047, or 69.4%) contained

    one or more evaluative statements on the Leveson Report and/or the Cross-

    Party Royal Charter. This was over three times as much as during the 18

    months prior to publication of the Leveson Report (436 of 2,016, or 21.6%).

    • A majority of the 1,421 articles – news and opinion – which contained an evaluative statement contained only negative viewpoints. 835

    articles (58.8%) contained only negative or critical viewpoints. 217 (15.3%)

    contained only positive or supportive views, and 370 (26.0%) contained

    both supportive and critical viewpoints.

    • Both the Leveson Report and the Cross-Party Royal Charter received a majority of negative coverage. 55.8% of articles containing a view on the

    Leveson Report were entirely critical (i.e. containing not one single positive

    reference), outnumbering positive articles by three to one. This rises to

    64.5% of articles on the Cross-Party Charter, where the ratio is four to one.

    • Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter were widely portrayed as a threat to press freedom. In total, 862 articles contained this assertion by

    a source or by the journalist - over 40% of all articles on any aspect of press

    regulation. As a proportion of the 1,421 articles containing a viewpoint on

    Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter, this figure rises to 60.7%.

    How Each Newspaper Covered Press Regulation

    • The majority of national newspapers contained a high proportion of negative-only coverage of Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter. Certain

    newspapers featured a significant majority of negative-only coverage: for

    1 See Part 1 of this analysis: http://mediastandardstrust.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/05/MST-Leveson-Analysis-090513-v2.pdf

    1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • 5MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    every article in the Daily Mail that contained only positive viewpoints, there

    were more than 33 that contained only critical views. In the Sun, this ratio

    was 1 : 29. Of 18 newspapers that published articles with viewpoints on

    Leveson or the Charter,2 14 contained more negative-only than positive-

    only articles; in nine titles the imbalance was by a ratio of over five to one.

    • Only a minority of coverage – news and opinion – sought to be balanced. Articles, including news articles, tended to express one single view without

    reference to opposing views: in 15 of 18 newspapers containing articles

    where views were expressed, the proportion where both positive and

    negative viewpoints were included was below 30%; in seven titles it was

    below 20%.

    • Coverage of Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter was mostly negative , as contrasted with coverage of the newspaper industry’s Royal Charter

    and the newspaper industry plans for a new regulator (IPSO) which

    was mostly positive. While on average only 15.3% of articles containing

    a view on Leveson or the Charter were wholly positive, 57.7% of articles

    with a view on the newspaper Industry’s Charter were positive, as were

    65.4% of articles containing a view on IPSO. The results suggest that the

    majority of newspapers gave strong support to the newspaper industry’s

    own initiatives, and were highly critical of those initiatives that were not

    led by the newspaper industry.

    • There was a structural difference in how sections of the national press covered Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter. After observing differences

    in coverage across groups of publishers, a separate analysis of those titles

    published by News UK, DMG Media, Telegraph Media Group, Trinity Mirror,

    and Northern & Shell found that those titles contained highly negative

    coverage (70.5% of articles containing a view were ‘negative-only’), a lower

    proportion of positive coverage (on average, around one positive article for

    every eight negative articles published), with the ‘threat to press freedom’

    frame appearing in 74.5% of articles containing a view. Significantly, this

    group accounts for over 90% of weekly national newspaper circulation, and

    three-quarters of the national newspaper market. In contrast, those titles

    published by Guardian Media Group, Independent Print Ltd, and Pearson

    contained half as many negative articles proportionally (34.2% of articles),

    less than half as many instances of the ‘threat to press freedom’ frame

    (34.4% of articles), a roughly equal ratio of positive to negative articles (1 :

    1.2), and were almost twice as likely to publish articles that contained both

    supportive and critical viewpoints.

    Coverage of Press Regulation in Leader and Opinion Articles

    • Leader articles and opinion articles were, by a very large margin,

    2 Of the 19 national newspapers featured in the study, one – the Daily Star Sunday – did not feature any articles in which critical or supportive views of aspects of press regulation were included.

  • 6Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    hostile to Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter. Out of 197 leader articles

    in which a view was expressed on Leveson or the Charter, 156 (79.2%) were

    negative-only and just 7 (3.6%) were positive-only. In addition, 272 of 369

    opinion articles (73.7%) were negative-only, with 55 (14.9%) positive-only.

    • Newspapers belonging to News UK, DMG Media, Trinity Mirror, Telegraph Media Group and Northern & Shell were far more likely to

    be negative than those published elsewhere. The relevant opinion and

    leader articles published by this group of titles were extremely hostile to

    Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter:

    - 90.8% of all such articles were negative-only (347 of 382); - For every positive-only opinion or leader article published by these

    newspapers, more than 30 negative-only articles were published;

    - 84.8% of leader or opinion articles by these titles contained the argument that Leveson or the Charter represented a threat to press

    freedom.

    Coverage of Press Regulation in Factual Articles

    • A majority of factual news coverage (i.e. news reports and features) contained statements for or against Leveson or the Royal Charter. 806

    News articles (66.7% of the total) and 49 Feature articles (43.8%) contained

    evaluative viewpoints on Leveson or the Charter. For News articles, this

    was a fourfold increase on the same measure of coverage in the 18 months

    prior to the Leveson Report (14.7%). Of these 806 News articles, almost half

    (46.8%) contained negative-only viewpoints.

    • As with opinion-based coverage, most of the press focused considerably more on critical views of Leveson and the Charter. Titles published by

    News UK, DMG Media, Trinity Mirror, Telegraph Media Group and Northern

    & Shell were again far more likely to publish articles containing views

    hostile to Leveson than titles published elsewhere:

    - 55.7% of all News articles by these five publishers contained only negative viewpoints, compared with 28.2% in titles published by

    Guardian Media Group, Independent Print Ltd and Pearson;

    - There were considerably fewer articles containing only supportive viewpoints (12.9% versus 29.8%)

    - The ‘threat to press freedom’ frame was more prevalent in the newspapers of these five publishers, being present in 65.8% of

    articles in which any viewpoint was expressed. This compared

    with 38.2% of such articles by other publishers

    How the ‘Threat to Press Freedom’ was portrayed

    • The argument that Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter posed a threat to press freedom was very frequently referenced in the national press.

    862 articles published on the topic contained the argument – 42.1% of all

  • 7MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    articles mentioning any aspect of press regulation, and 60.7% of those in

    which a view of Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter was expressed.

    • The claim that press freedom was being threatened was often presented with no supporting evidence, no counter-argument, and without a

    quote by an identified source. Less than 30% of articles in which the

    ‘Threat’ argument was made included specific evidence to justify the claim.

    Only 14.8% of these articles included the counter-argument that Leveson

    or the Charter did not threaten press freedom or political interference, and

    less than half based the ‘Threat’ claim on a quote from an identified source.

    • The language used to describe Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter was emotive, repetitive, and focused on freedom and government

    interference. There were hundreds of references to ‘press freedom’

    in newspaper coverage of press regulation, and to ‘shackles’, ‘muzzles’,

    and ‘curbs’ on the press. Certain phrases were repeated across news and

    opinion articles, and several newspapers, indicating a lack of plurality

    in the presentation of press regulation. Opinion came increasingly to be

    presented as fact, crossing the divide from ‘leader’ and ‘opinion’ articles, to

    factual news articles, and there was evidence of arguments being replicated

    word-for-word across comment pieces.

    How Coverage of Press Regulation Failed to Reflect Public Opinion

    • Overall public opinion tended to be at odds with the negative line a majority of newspapers took on Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter.

    The majority of the public, in most polls (even excluding those commissioned

    by groups supportive of reform of press regulation) tended to be supportive

    of legal underpinning, supportive of the Leveson recommendations, and

    supportive of the Cross-Party Charter agreement reached in March, and of

    its specific provisions. This was in contrast to the strongly negative coverage

    of each of these issues in the national daily and Sunday press across the

    whole period of study.

    • Individual newspapers did not reflect the viewpoints of their readership on matters of press regulation. Newspaper readerships

    displayed considerable consistency in terms of their support for the

    Leveson recommendations and Cross-Party Charter system. While there

    was some variation between titles (e.g. Sun readers being less supportive

    than other titles), each set of readers tended to be, by a ratio of at least

    two-to-one, in favour of their paper joining the Cross-Party Charter system.

    When surveyed on other aspects of regulatory reform, they supported legal

    underpinning, supported the Cross-Party Charter over the Industry Charter,

    and supported the Cross-Party Charter’s system of independent external

    review of a new regulatory system.

    Therefore, though many media commentators have stressed that press regulation

    is not a ‘doorstep issue’ for the public, it was extensively covered by national

  • 8Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    newspapers in the year following publication of the Leveson Report. At an average

    of almost six articles each day across the UK national press, most newspaper readers

    would have been aware of the issue.

    Yet, most of them would have read a highly polarized perspective. For over 90% of

    these readers almost three-quarters of the articles they read on press regulation

    expressed a view. This included seven out of ten news reports.

    Of the articles that expressed a view for these readers, 70% expressed only a negative

    view. As a consequence, most British news readers would rarely have been exposed

    to positive views about the Leveson recommendations or the Royal Charter.

    This is despite the majority of news readers – and the broader public – holding

    positive views about the Leveson recommendations and the settlement agreed

    through Royal Charter. Based on opinion polls over the course of the year following

    the Leveson Report, a consistent 50-70% of the public wanted a system similar to the

    one Leveson recommended, and on average only 10-25% trusted newspapers to set

    up an adequate alternative on their own.

    When newspapers’ own readers were polled at various times of the year, on average

    50-60% wanted their newspaper to join the Cross-Party Royal Charter system, as

    opposed to around 10% who did not. For individual newspapers, results were similar

    to the average - even the most anti-Leveson papers did not persuade their own

    readers that the Cross-Party Royal Charter should be rejected, or that the newspaper

    industry’s own proposed systems were preferable.

    Most national newspapers therefore pursued a strong editorial agenda in their

    news and comment pieces about press regulation that corresponded with their own

    interests and that did not fairly represent the views of their readers or the broader

    public.

    It is difficult not to conclude that coverage of the Leveson report and its aftermath

    did not live up to the democratic ideal of a diverse range of voices representing the

    views of the British public.

  • 9MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    2. TIMELINE OF EVENTS

    29 NOVEMBER 2012 Leveson Report published at 1.30pm. The 1,987-page report included 47 specific recommendations for a system of voluntary self-regulation of the press underpinned by an independent external recognition process. This process was to be supported by legal incentives for those who participated. Later that day the Prime Minister, having had 24 hours advance notice of the Report, rejected Leveson’s use of legislation, while broadly supporting the rest of the recommendations for Press self-regulation. The Deputy Prime Minister delivered a separate statement supporting implementation of Leveson’s recommendations, including statutory underpinning, though took issue with the specific recommendation that oversight of a new regulator should be granted to Ofcom, and also with certain recommendations concerning reform of the Data Protection Act. Labour called for full implementation of Leveson.

    4 DECEMBER 2012 At a meeting with the Prime Minister newspaper editors were issued a deadline for reaching an agreement on implementing Leveson.

    5 DECEMBER 2012 A meeting of newspaper editors at the Delaunay Restaurant claims consensus on ’40 of 47’ recommendations. However, documents leaked from the meeting indicate that, of Leveson’s 47 recommendations, fewer than half (23) were fully accepted.

    10 DECEMBER 2012 Labour publishes a six-clause draft bill outlining underpinning of self-regulation, abandoning initial support for Ofcom as a recognition body.

    12 DECEMBER 2012 Times editor James Harding, understood to have been instrumental in co-ordinating newspaper editors’ response to Leveson, resigns. ‘Delaunay agreement’ later said to have collapsed at this point.

    13 DECEMBER 2012 Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin announces an initial plan for a Royal Charter to underpin a new press regulator. Newspaper publishers’ associations, including the Press Standards Board of Finance (Pressbof), write to the Culture Secretary to announce that they, not editors, will take responsibility for self-regulatory reform.

    31 DECEMBER 2012 An initial draft of a Royal Charter by the Conservatives is distributed to key stakeholders, including newspaper groups.

    4 JANUARY 2013 Peter Wright, Editor Emeritus at Associated Newspapers, writes to Oliver Letwin, outlining 14 specific industry concerns with the 31st December draft Charter and specifying ‘red lines’ on issues that the industry would not accept.

    31 JANUARY 2013

    Campaign group Hacked Off publishes a draft ‘Leveson Bill’.6 JANUARY 2013

    Lord Puttnam tables a ‘Leveson amendment’ to the Defamation bill, which would establish a recognition commission for regulatory bodies that provide an arbitration service.

  • 10Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    12 FEBRUARY 2013 First draft of the Royal Charter (the ‘February 12th Charter’) published by the Conservatives. This Charter is a considerable distance from the Leveson recommendations, and is diluted from the draft circulated to newspaper groups on 31st December, including specific areas alterations to conform with industry ‘red lines’ as defined by Peter Wright in his letter of January 4th.

    Paul Vickers, Chairman of the newspaper industry Implementation group set up to create a new press regulator, described the 12th February draft Charter as ‘the fruit of two months of intensive talks involving the newspaper and magazine industry and all three main political parties.’

    The February 12th Charter: keeps control of the Standards Code in the hands of editors; raises the bar for third-party complaints; gives the newspaper industry a veto on appointments to the regulator; reduces the power of the regulator to direct corrections and apologise; limits the power of investigations; and provides no check in the event of failure. There is nothing to protect the Charter from amendment by ministers. Analysis shows that the February 12th Charter would allow a regulator set up in accordance with the Hunt-Black plan (the newspaper industry’s proposal for reform rejected as insufficient by Leveson) to be recognised, with minimal amendments. Records released by the Government later in 2013 show that during January and February 2013, newspaper executives and editors had more than 30 meetings with the Prime Minister, Oliver Letwin, and Culture Secretary Maria Miller.

    Labour and Liberal Democrats both reject the February 12th Charter as unsatisfactory and call for changes to be made through cross-party talks.

    14 FEBRUARY 2013 Cross-party talks restart to revise the February 12th Charter.

    8 MARCH 2013 Lord Skidelsky tables a Leveson amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill which would create a form of statutory arbitration and a recognition commission to oversee a new press regulator.

    14 MARCH 2013 David Cameron unilaterally walks out of cross-party talks on the Royal Charter. The following Monday a Commons vote is due on amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill that would implement aspects of the Leveson Report. Speculative Parliamentary arithmetic suggests that Cameron, who opposes these amendments, will lose the vote. Cameron therefore needs to agree a Royal Charter with Labour and the Liberal Democrats if he is to avoid a Parliamentary defeat

    15 MARCH 2013 Labour and the Lib Dems publish an alternative version of the February 12th Charter that is much closer to Leveson’s original recommendations.

    17 MARCH 2013 David Cameron and Nick Clegg agree on a draft Royal Charter. Royal Charter presented to Ed Miliband and then to victims’ campaign group Hacked Off.

    18 MARCH 2013 A motion agreeing the text of the Royal Charter was put to the House of Commons which agreed it on a vote without division. Later that session, the amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill providing incentives to publishers that joined a recognised regulator was passed by 530 votes to 13. Also on 18th March, the House of Lords agreed an amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill that prevented changes to the Royal Charter without two-thirds support in both Houses of Parliament.

  • 11MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    3 MAY 2013 The Government commits to considering the Industry Charter before putting the Cross-Party Charter before the Privy Council. A consultation is launched with a deadline of 24th May.

    4 JULY 2013 The decision on the Cross-Party Charter is delayed to give the Privy Council time to consider the Industry Charter.

    7 JULY 2013 The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is announced by newspaper groups as a successor to the Press Complaints Commission.

    8 OCTOBER 2013 Industry Charter rejected by Privy Council. PressBoF launches an appeal.

    11 OCTOBER 2013 Cross-Party Charter amended slightly to make it map almost exactly to Leveson recommendations (e.g. returning the criteria for the Standards Code to those laid out in the Leveson Report). Concessions also made to industry to allay fears concerning arbitration: publishers to be allowed to opt out of arbitration if ‘serious financial harm’ demonstrated, and the regulator to be given the option of charging a ‘small administration fee’ for arbitration.

    24 OCTOBER 2013 Final articles of IPSO are published. Subsequent analysis finds that, of 38 Leveson recommendations for independent and effective self-regulator, IPSO satisfies 12.

    30 OCTOBER 2013 Cross-Party Charter sealed by the Privy Council and published. An addition to the 11th October draft makes clear that amendments to the Charter will require the unanimous agreement of the Board of the Recognition Panel (none of whom can be politicians). The timeframe for establishment of the Recognition Panel is amended.

    25 APRIL 2013 Some newspaper groups, via Pressbof, propose an alternative Royal Charter (the ‘Industry Charter’). This Charter is further from Leveson than any previous version according to a subsequent report by Enders Analysis. The recognition process is owned by Pressbof; party-political peers are allowed to serve at all levels; the powers of the regulator are diluted; editors retain control of the Standards Code; the investigations process is complex and favours the publishers over the regulator, and the investigations fund to be overseen by those subject to investigation; arbitration to be made optional.

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  • 12Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Scope and purpose of the analysis

    This project is a continuation of the Media Standards Trust analysis of UK national

    press coverage of the Leveson Inquiry.1 If follows directly on from the end of the

    previous study, and in most cases uses the same methods, to allow comparisons

    between both studies.

    The project consists of original research: a content analysis of press regulation in

    the UK national press. Since coverage was so extensive – over 2,000 articles – the

    majority of the analysis is quantitative, and focuses on the volume, tone and framing

    of press regulation over a 12-month period.

    This is a descriptive study, and while some contextual analysis is used to contextualise

    some of the results, it is not an attempt to determine ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ ways to cover

    press regulation or to interpret the policy implications of the Leveson Report/Royal

    Charter. These issues have been discussed extensively elsewhere. Instead, this

    report is intended to create a record of which arguments were deployed, and how

    the UK national press covered a public policy issue with significant implications for

    its own industry.

    Sampling

    The source material is national press coverage of press regulation; specifically, news

    articles, whether online or in print, published by the 19 main UK national daily and

    Sunday newspapers in the UK. The period of analysis follows directly from Part 1,

    beginning on the day of publication of the Leveson Report (29th November 2012)

    and ending one year later (29th November 2013). This technically covers 366 days, to

    account for the staggered publication of online articles throughout the day.

    The sample of publications is based on the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s (ABC) list of

    national newspapers, excluding major regional titles such as the Evening Standard

    and major Scottish newspapers, and the i, which mainly repackages content from

    the Independent.

    1 http://mediastandardstrust.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/05/MST-Leveson-Analysis-090513-v2.pdf

    3. SAMPLING AND METHODOLOGY

  • 13MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Sampled newspapers

    Dailies Sundays

    Sun (including Sun on Sunday) Sunday Mirror

    Daily Mirror People

    Daily Star Daily Star Sunday

    Daily Express Sunday Express

    Daily Mail Mail on Sunday

    The Times Sunday Times

    Daily Telegraph Sunday Telegraph

    Guardian Observer

    Independent Independent on Sunday

    Financial Times

    The original sample for this analysis includes all news articles published between

    29th November 2012 and 29th November 2013, containing any of the following search

    phrases:

    1. “Leveson”

    2. “Royal Charter”

    3. “Privy Council”

    4. “Independent Press Standards Organisation”

    5. “IPSO”

    6. “Press Standards Board of Finance”

    7. “Pressbof”

    8. “Hacked Off”

    9. “Press Regulation”

    10. “Press Laws”

    These searches were applied to three sources: Factiva, Lexis Nexis, and internal

    online search functions on each newspaper’s site. Duplicate articles were removed,

    and where near-duplicate articles were found, as occasionally happened in online

    and print versions of the same article containing the same text, only the longer of

    the two articles was retained. Articles which included one or more of these search

    terms but which contained no information about press regulation were excluded.

    These mostly consisted of stories mentioning other Royal Charters, such as the BBC’s,

    or passing mentions of Leveson without any context. Most articles containing the

    search terms were relevant for the analysis.

    The range of newspaper articles eligible for consideration was limited by whether

    they corresponded to four categories: ‘News’ and ‘Feature’ articles, and ‘Leader’ and

    ‘Opinion articles. This follows the methodology in Part 1 of the analysis, based on

  • 14Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Higgins’ (2006) typology of news stories.2 Therefore, a tiny amount of articles that

    contained one or more of the search terms, but did not fit into these categories were

    removed.

    The final sample consisted of 2,047 articles.

    Measuring coverage

    The focus of analysis was on the prevalence of certain types of evaluative statements

    or opinions about the Leveson Inquiry. This follows the methodological approach of

    the previous analysis of Leveson coverage.

    In the previous analysis, the arguments or ‘frames’ were: ‘supportive of Leveson’;

    ‘Leveson as a threat to press freedom’; ‘lack of legitimacy of the Inquiry’, ‘lack of

    public interest or relevance of Leveson’. These frames were recorded on the basis

    of whether or not they appeared in the text of articles, either attributed to a source

    (in the case of a factual news article), or written by a journalist (in opinion or leader

    articles, or in the body of a news article).

    For the present analysis, this approach was expanded for articles mentioning the

    Leveson Report and, latterly, the Cross-Party Charter – with an extended list of

    ‘frames’ to better suit the circumstances in which the post-Leveson press regulation

    debate took place.

    The full list of frames were devised after a pilot study which identified which type of

    evaluative arguments were being made in support of, or against, the Leveson Report

    and/or the Cross-Party Charter. The final list is as follows:

    ‘Positive’ statements:

    • Supportive of Leveson Recommendations: Any statement in support of (a) the Leveson Report in general, or (b) any of its recommendations.

    • Supportive of statutory underpinning of press regulation: either (a) a statement in support specifically of the Leveson recommendation on

    statutory underpinning; or (b) a general statement in support of statutory

    underpinning for press regulation.

    • Supportive of Royal Charter: Any statement in support of the Cross-Party Charter, or its specific provisions.

    ‘Negative’ statements:

    • Threat to press freedom: Any reference to either Leveson or any proposed method of press regulation as a potential threat to press freedom, or to

    freedom of expression.

    • Criticism of Leveson recommendations/cross-party Royal Charter provisions: Any critical reference to specific recommendations in the

    2 Higgins, M. (2006) ‘Substantiating a political public sphere in the Scottish press: a comparative analysis’, Journalism, 7(1) pp25-44

  • 15MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Leveson Report, or to any of the provisions of the Cross-Party Royal Charter.

    • Questions the Legitimacy of the Leveson Report: Critical references that directly imply that the Leveson Inquiry or Report were flawed, corrupt,

    or otherwise illegitimate (including conspiracy, narrowness of remit or

    expertise of the judge, misconception in setting-up of the Inquiry, waste of

    public money).

    • Damage to the UK’s international reputation: Any reference to either of two approximate arguments: that Britain will no longer set a good example

    for press freedom worldwide if Leveson or the Royal Charter system were

    to be implemented; or, the implementation of Leveson or the Royal Charter

    will be copied by undemocratic governments to crack down on journalists.

    • Criticism of the process of agreeing the Royal Charter: Critical references specifically to the process of agreeing the Royal Charter – references to the

    “pizza deal”, “stitch-up”, etc.

    These frames were then used to ascertain whether an article was designated:

    • ‘Positive-only’ (contained only a combination of supportive frames)• ‘Negative-only’ (contained only a combination of critical frames)• ‘Both’ (contained a combination of both supportive and critical frames)• ‘None’ (contained none of these frames)

    In this analysis the focus, for much of the research, is on the prevalence of articles

    that contained any of the list of frames outlined here.

    In addition to this list, two ‘neutral’ frames were also recorded, to ensure that all

    mentions of Royal Charters in the press regulation context were accounted for.

    Although these have no bearing on whether the article was ‘positive’ or ‘negative’

    in tone, they helped to capture opinions on the Royal Charter process. These were:

    Critical of the use of Royal Charter in principle: Any reference critical of

    using a Royal Charter in the area of press regulation.

    Supports the use of Royal Charter in principle: Any reference in support of

    the idea of using a Royal Charter in place of statute to underpin a new system

    of press self-regulation.

    To summarise: Each article was scanned to see if it contained any references to the

    list of eight contextual events listed above. If any of the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ frames

    were recorded in relation to the Leveson Report and/or the Cross-Party Charter,

    these were recorded.

    A list of other, non-evaluative, variables were also measured as part of this analysis.

    The full list of these variables is included in Appendix 3

    Some secondary analyses are included in this report. The methods employed in

    them are explained in the sections in which they appear.

  • 16Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Validating the methods

    Inter-Coder Reliability (ICR) testing was carried out on the framing variables, using

    a random sample of approximately 10% of the sample. A full description of the ICR

    testing process is described in Appendix 5; the ICR test scores are available to the

    public on the Media Standards Trust website.

  • 17MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Overall Figures – Full Sample

    The project gathered every print and online article referring to aspects of press

    regulation published by the UK national press during a 12 month (or 366-day) period

    beginning on the day of publication of the Leveson Report (29th November 2012).1

    Table 1 shows the total volume of coverage of press regulation:

    Table 1: Total Coverage of Press Regulation, post-Leveson Report (N = 2,047)

    Coverage of Press Regulation,

    29/11/12 – 29/11/13

    2,047 articles

    1,153,240 words

    Coverage of press regulation in the year beginning 29th November 2012 is extensive.

    2,047 articles were published in print and online in the 10 daily and 9 Sunday

    national newspapers (full list of titles in Section 3 above), comprising a total of over

    1.1 million words (excluding headlines). This is comparable with the Leveson Report

    itself, which consisted of 1,987 pages and slightly over one million words.2

    Significantly, the amount of coverage over the course of this 12-month sample is

    almost identical to the volume of coverage recorded during the 18-month period of

    the Leveson Inquiry, signalling a substantial increase in the intensity of coverage.3

    Coverage of press regulation following the Leveson Report has also been more

    commentary-driven than coverage of the Inquiry itself. Table 2 shows that the

    proportion of articles devoted to commentary (leaders and opinion) rose from just

    over one quarter (27.6%) over the course of the Leveson Inquiry, to over one third

    following the publication of the Leveson Report (35.5%).

    Table 2: Proportion of Factual vs. Comment Coverage, pre- and post-Leveson

    Report (N = 2,047)

    Part 1 (pre-Report) Part 2 (post-Report)

    ‘Factual’ CoverageNews 1,399 69.4% 1,208 59.0%

    Feature 60 3.0% 1124 5.5%

    ‘Comment’ CoverageLeader 128 6.3% 217 10.6%

    Opinion 429 21.3% 510 24.9%

    1 The full range of search terms and sampling methods are outlined in Section 3 above.

    2 http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/29/leveson-inquiry-report-word-frequencies-statutory-self-regulation

    3 From Part 1 of the Analysis: Between 11th July 2011 and 28th November 2012, 2,014 articles were published on the Leveson Inquiry, totalling 1,110,475 words (http://mediastandardstrust.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/05/MST-Leveson-Analysis-090513-v2.pdf, page 7)

    4. PRESS REGULATION COVERAGE: OVERALL FIGURES

  • 18Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    As Figure 1 shows, coverage was more extensive in late November and December

    2012 (around the publication of the Leveson Report), between February and April

    2013 (when the three main Royal Charter drafts – the February 12th draft Charter,

    the Cross-Party Charter and the newspaper industry’s Charter – became public

    knowledge), and in October 2013 (when the Industry Charter was rejected by the

    Privy Council, and the final version of the Cross-Party Charter was sealed).

    Figure 1: Number of articles published, by month (N = 2,047)

    Table 3 shows that there were substantial differences in the volume of coverage

    each national newspaper devoted to the issue. While different styles of publication

    (tabloid, mid-market, broadsheet) may be expected to show differing levels of interest

    given their varying audiences and news values, there were significant differences

    within groups. The Sun, among tabloids, published more articles than the rest of the

    daily and Sunday tabloids combined, and more than some broadsheets. In the mid-

    market group the Daily Mail took a far greater interest in the subject than the Daily

    Express, and within broadsheets the Guardian dominated. 4

    4 This rise in Feature articles can be attributed to a large number of lists or infographics explain (a) the Leveson recommendations, or (b) how the various proposed Royal Charter systems would operate

    256

    357

    71

    136

    398

    157

    121

    89 91

    28 31

    236

    76

    0

    50

    100

    150

    200

    250

    300

    350

    400

    450

    No

    . of

    art

    icle

    s

    No view expressed: 626

    Positive views only: 216

    Negative views only: 834

    Both views expressed: 371

    Views expressed: 1,421

    0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

    Independent on Sunday (N = 21)

    Independent (N = 148)

    Guardian (N = 403)

    Financial Times (N = 97)

    Sunday Express (N = 16)

    Daily Express (N = 94)

    Observer (N = 72)

    Times (N = 217)

    Daily Star (N = 23)

    Daily Telegraph (N = 270)

    Sunday Mirror (N = 13)

    Mail on Sunday (N = 53)

    Daily Mirror (N = 98)

    Sunday Times (N = 53)

    People (N = 5)

    Sun (N = 179)

    Sunday Telegraph (N = 33)

    Daily Mail (N = 251)

    Negative-only'

    Both

    Positive-only'

    None

  • 19MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    The Guardian’s comparatively large volume of coverage is partly explained by its

    online presence; just under half of its articles were published online-only. In the

    entire sample, while the proportions of online-only coverage fluctuated across

    different titles, the majority of articles appeared both in print and online, or print-

    only. Overall, 484 articles (30.1% of the total sample) were only published online,

    with no print equivalent.

    By breaking down the balance of types of coverage (Table 4), more differences

    emerge. While individual results for publications with low numbers of articles (e.g.

    Sunday tabloids, Sunday Express) can be skewed, there are some significant results.

    The Sun is notable for devoting slightly under half (46.9% - 39 leader and 45 opinion

    articles) of its coverage to commentary – the largest proportion of any daily national

    newspaper. Sunday newspapers, which traditionally devote more space to opinion

    pieces and interviews, tend to have more ‘opinion’ and ‘feature’ articles than daily

    Table 3: Article breakdown, by title (N = 2,047)

    Number of

    Articles

    Percentage of

    Total

    Number

    Online-only

    Percentage

    Online-Only

    Tabloids

    Sun 179 8.7% 6 0.3%

    Daily Mirror 98 4.8% 13 13.3%

    Daily Star 23 1.1% 2 8.7%

    Sunday Mirror 13 0.6% 0 0%

    Daily Star Sunday 1 >0.1% 1 100%

    People 5 0.2% 1 20%

    Mid-Markets

    Daily Express 94 4.6% 33 35.1%

    Sunday Express 16 0.8% 6 37.5%

    Daily Mail 251 12.3% 33 13.1%

    Mail on Sunday 53 2.6% 2 3.8%

    Broadsheets

    Times 217 10.6% 36 16.6%

    Sunday Times 53 2.6% 9 17.0%

    Daily Telegraph 270 13.2% 100 37.0%

    Sunday Telegraph 33 1.6% 7 21.2%

    Guardian 403 19.7% 199 49.4%

    Observer 72 3.5% 2 2.7%

    Independent 148 7.2% 7 4.7%

    Ind. on Sunday 21 1.0% 2 9.5%

    Financial Times 97 4.7% 25 25.8%

    Totals 2,047 100.0% 484 30.1%

  • 20Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    The Guardian’s volume of opinion articles (132 – approximately one quarter of

    the total) is evidently partly due to the size of its online forum ‘Comment is Free’,

    although only around half (64 of 132) were only published online, indicating that

    a substantial proportion of its opinion pieces relating to press regulation were

    included in print editions. In contrast, at the Daily Telegraph, which has another

    substantial online comment forum in ‘Telegraph Blogs’, only 16 of 65 opinion pieces

    were published in the print version.

    It is worth noting here that three publishers (News UK, publisher of the Sun, The

    Times, and the Sunday Times; DMG Media, publisher of the Daily Mail and the Mail

    on Sunday; Telegraph Media Group, publisher of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday

    Telegraph) account for over 70% of all leader articles published – 154 out of 217. The

    significance of this is explored in Section 6 below.

    titles as a proportion of their coverage.

    Table 4: Article type, by title (N = 2,047)

    Titles News Feature Leader Opinion

    Tabloids No. % No. % No. % No. %

    Sun 92 51.4% 3 1.7% 39 21.8% 45 25.1%

    Daily Mirror 64 65.3% 5 5.1% 11 11.2% 18 18.4%

    Daily Star 21 91.3% 1 4.3% 0 0% 1 4.3%

    Sunday Mirror 2 15.4% 0 0% 2 15.4% 9 69.2%

    Daily Star Sunday 1 100% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%

    People 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 5 100%

    Mid-Markets No. % No. % No. % No. %

    Daily Express 80 85.1% 0 0% 2 2.1% 12 12.8%

    Sunday Express 12 75.0% 1 6.3% 2 12.5% 1 6.3%

    Daily Mail 145 57.8% 21 8.4% 47 18.7% 38 15.1%

    Mail on Sunday 25 47.2% 3 5.7% 8 15.1% 17 32.1%

    Broadsheets No. % No. % No. % No. %

    Times 161 74.2% 7 3.2% 21 9.7% 28 12.9%

    Sunday Times 24 45.3% 8 15.1% 10 18.9% 11 20.8%

    Daily Telegraph 172 63.7% 9 3.3% 24 8.8% 65 24.1%

    Sunday Telegraph 11 33.3% 3 9.1% 5 15.2% 14 42.4%

    Guardian 229 56.8% 27 6.7% 15 3.7% 132 32.8%

    Observer 14 19.4% 6 8.3% 5 6.9% 47 65.3%

    Independent 77 52.0% 7 4.7% 16 10.8% 48 32.4%

    Independent on Sunday 10 47.6% 3 14.3% 1 4.8% 7 33.3%

    Financial Times 68 70.0% 8 8.2% 9 9.3% 12 12.4%

  • 21MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Tone of Overall Coverage – Evaluating Leveson and the

    Royal Charter

    Section 3 (above) outlines in depth the methodology used to calculate ‘Tone’ in

    coverage of press regulation. To recap briefly: for each article, the calculation of

    tone is based entirely on the presence of a list of ‘frames’, or specific arguments

    about Leveson and/or the Cross-Party Royal Charter (see Section 3 above for a full

    list and description). In other words, all 1,421 articles contained at least one of the

    arguments featured on the list.

    Of the 2,047 total articles in the sample, 1,421 (69.4%) contained one or more

    evaluative statements for, or against, Leveson and/or the Cross-Party Charter by a

    source or within the text of the article. Unless otherwise stated, the results in the

    remainder of this section are derived from the 1,421 articles in which criticism or

    support for Leveson or the Charter were recorded. Table 5 shows the prevalence of

    the different frames in those articles:

    Table 5: Number of instances of different arguments, N = 1,421

    Critical/‘Negative’ Frames Number Prevalence

    Threat to press freedom/freedom of expression 862 60.7%

    Critical of specific Leveson Report/Charter recommendations 481 33.8%

    Questions the legitimacy of the Leveson Inquiry 116 8.2%

    Damage to UK’s reputation 84 5.9%

    Critical of the Charter agreement (‘pizza deal’) 140 9.9%

    Supportive/‘Positive’ Frames Number Prevalence

    Supportive of Leveson Report 364 25.6%

    Supportive of statutory underpinning recommendation specifically5 137 9.6%

    Supportive of Cross-Party Charter 236 16.6%

    This shows that by far the most common argument was that the Leveson

    recommendations and/or the Cross-Party Royal Charter represented a potential

    threat to press freedom or to freedom of expression. This argument was recorded in

    862 articles in total, or 60.7% of all articles containing any frames. 5

    The second most common frame was criticism of specific recommendations of the

    Leveson Report, or of the provisions of the Cross-Party Charter, which occurred in

    slightly over one-third of relevant articles. Third most common were arguments in

    favour of the Leveson Report (in general or for specific recommendations), which

    occurred in just under one-quarter, followed by support for the Cross-Party Charter.

    While Table 5 lists the instances of different frames in relevant articles, Table 6

    shows how these instances of frames translated into a measurement of the tone of

    5 This figure does not include two articles where the concept of statutory underpinning was supported, but the specific measures in the Cross-Party Charter were rejected.

  • 22Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    coverage.

    Table 6: Framing: Balance of Tone, N = 1,421

    Tone Frequency Percent

    ‘Positive-Only’ 216 15.2%

    ‘Negative-Only’ 834 58.6%

    ‘Both’ 371 26.1%

    Total 1,421 -

    Of the articles that contained frames, 834 – or 58.6% - contained only ‘negative’ frames

    – that is, every opinion expressed in those articles was critical of either Leveson or

    the Cross-Party Charter, or both. This is considerably more than double the number

    of articles that contain both, almost four times the number that contained only

    positive evaluative references, and more than the remainder of the total sample of

    2,047 articles (626) that reported on press regulation but didn’t contain a view.

    In other words, the largest proportion of all articles on press regulation published

    by the UK national press during the 12-month period dating from the publication

    of the Leveson Report contained only critical evaluative statements about either

    the Leveson recommendations or the Cross-Party Royal Charter (i.e. no supportive

    statements at all).

    Chart 2: Articles containing viewpoints on Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter (N = 2,047)

    256

    357

    71

    136

    398

    157

    121

    89 91

    28 31

    236

    76

    0

    50

    100

    150

    200

    250

    300

    350

    400

    450

    No

    . of

    art

    icle

    s

    No view expressed: 626

    Positive views only: 216

    Negative views only: 834

    Both views expressed: 371

    Views expressed: 1,421

    0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

    Independent on Sunday (N = 21)

    Independent (N = 148)

    Guardian (N = 403)

    Financial Times (N = 97)

    Sunday Express (N = 16)

    Daily Express (N = 94)

    Observer (N = 72)

    Times (N = 217)

    Daily Star (N = 23)

    Daily Telegraph (N = 270)

    Sunday Mirror (N = 13)

    Mail on Sunday (N = 53)

    Daily Mirror (N = 98)

    Sunday Times (N = 53)

    People (N = 5)

    Sun (N = 179)

    Sunday Telegraph (N = 33)

    Daily Mail (N = 251)

    Negative-only'

    Both

    Positive-only'

    None

  • 23MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    As Table 7 shows, the majority of the national press contained a broadly negative

    focus on Leveson and/or the Cross-Party Charter. In the Sun, the Daily Mail and the

    Mail on Sunday, over 80% of articles containing evaluative references to Leveson

    or the Cross-Party Charter contained only negative references. In the Daily Mail,

    ‘negative-only’ articles outnumbered ‘positive-only’ by over 33-to-1; in the Sun the

    ratio was 29-to-1.

    Variations are notable between newspaper publishers – News UK titles all recorded

    predominantly negative coverage, as did publications at DMG Media, Trinity Mirror

    and Telegraph Media Group. Northern and Shell titles were slightly less negative

    overall, while the Guardian (but not the Observer), Independent, Independent on

    Sunday, and Financial Times all contained relatively greater proportions of positive

    coverage and articles that contained both critical and supportive viewpoints. The

    difference in coverage across different publishing groups is explored further in

    Sections 5 – 8 below.

    Table 8 compares the volume of ‘negative-only’ articles on press regulation, with

    Table 7: Tone balance, by title (N = 1,421)

    Tabloids Positive-only Negative-only Both Total % Negative

    Sun 4 116 21 141 82.3%

    Daily Mirror 6 52 20 78 66.7%

    Daily Star 1 9 2 12 75.0%

    Sunday Mirror 4 6 1 11 54.5%

    Daily Star Sunday 0 0 0 0 0%

    People 0 3 0 3 100%

    Mid-Markets Positive-only Negative-only Both Total % Negative

    Daily Express 9 33 26 67 49.3%

    Sunday Express 6 5 4 15 33.3%

    Daily Mail 5 169 26 200 84.5%

    Mail on Sunday 2 25 4 31 80.6%

    Broadsheets Positive-only Negative-only Both Total % Negative

    Times 16 83 37 136 61.0%

    Sunday Times 5 30 10 45 66.7%

    Daily Telegraph 20 123 46 189 65.1%

    Sunday Telegraph 3 22 5 30 73.3%

    Guardian 86 86 64 236 36.4%

    Observer 10 26 12 48 54.2%

    Independent 22 19 56 97 19.6%

    Independent on

    Sunday6 2 4 12 16.7%

    Financial Times 11 25 33 70 37.1%

  • 24Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    the full sample of 2,047 articles that contained any mention whatsoever of press

    regulation in the year following Leveson. Again, the Sun and Daily Mail stand out,

    alongside the Sunday Telegraph – approximately two-thirds of coverage of any aspect

    of press regulation in those titles contained wholly negative framing.

    Table 8: Proportion of negative-only framing in total press-regulation coverage, by title

    (N = 2,047)

    Total articles,

    full sample (N =

    2,047)

    Articles with

    negative-only

    frames

    Percentage of

    total articles,

    negative-only

    Tabloids

    Sun 179 116 64.8%

    Daily Mirror 98 52 53.1%

    Daily Star 23 9 39.1%

    Sunday Mirror 13 6 46.2%

    Daily Star Sunday 1 0 0%

    People 5 3 60.0%

    Mid-Markets

    Daily Express 94 33 35.1%

    Sunday Express 16 5 31.2%

    Daily Mail 251 169 67.3%

    Mail on Sunday 53 25 47.2%

    Broadsheets

    Times 217 83 38.2%

    Sunday Times 53 30 56.6%

    Daily Telegraph 270 123 45.5%

    Sunday Telegraph 33 22 66.7%

    Guardian 403 86 21.3%

    Observer 72 26 36.1%

    Independent 148 19 12.8%

    Independent on

    Sunday21 2 9.5%

    Financial Times 97 25 25.8%

    Finally, Table 9 separates out the coverage of Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter as

    individual issues. The results show that both attracted a majority of ‘negative-only’

    articles, which in the case of the Leveson Report outnumbered ‘positive-only’ articles

    by almost 3-to-1. This imbalance was even more pronounced for the Cross-Party

    Charter, where over four times as many ‘negative-only’ articles were published than

    ‘positive-only’ ones.

  • 25MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Table 9: Tone of coverage for the Leveson Report and Cross-Party Charter separately (N = 1,422)

    Positive-only Negative-only Both % Negative

    Leveson Report (N = 791)6 160 441 190 55.8%

    Cross-Party Charter (N = 672) 91 433 148 64.5%

    67

    6 While these cases contain 42 articles where both the Leveson Report and the Cross-Party Charter were subject to criticism and/or support, the two issues are treated separately.

    7 Daily Star Sunday not included as only one article published, containing no views

    0

    50

    100

    150

    200

    250

    300

    350

    400

    450

    No

    . o

    f a

    rtic

    les

    No view expressed: 626

    Positive view only: 216

    Negative view only: 834

    Both views expressed: 371

    View expressed: 1,421

    0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%

    Independent on Sunday (N = 21)

    Independent (N = 148)

    Guardian (N = 403)

    Financial Times (N = 97)

    Sunday Express (N = 16)

    Daily Express (N = 94)

    Observer (N = 72)

    Times (N = 217)

    Daily Star (N = 23)

    Daily Telegraph (N = 270)

    Sunday Mirror (N = 13)

    Mail on Sunday (N = 53)

    Daily Mirror (N = 98)

    Sunday Times (N = 53)

    People (N = 5)

    Sun (N = 179)

    Sunday Telegraph (N = 33)

    Daily Mail (N = 251)

    Negative-only'

    Both

    Positive-only'

    None

    Chart 3: Balance of tone, by newspaper (N=2,047)7

  • 26Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Summary

    Press Regulation Coverage: Overall Figures

    • Coverage of press regulation in the UK national press was extensive. In the year following the publication of the Leveson Report, 2,047 articles

    were published across the national daily and Sunday press, an average of

    5.6 articles per day as compared to 4.0 per day in the 18 months from July

    2011 until publication of the Leveson report in November 2012.8 There were

    particularly high levels of coverage in three periods: in the aftermath of

    the publication of the Leveson Report; around the agreement on the Cross-

    Party Royal Charter in March 2013; and in October 2013, when the Royal

    Charter was sealed following the Privy Council’s rejection of the newspaper

    industry’s own draft Royal Charter.

    • The majority of coverage contained some evaluation of Leveson or the Charter. Over two-thirds of articles (1,421 of 2,047, or 69.4%) contained

    one or more evaluative statements on the Leveson Report and/or the Cross-

    Party Royal Charter. This was over three times as much as during the 18

    months prior to publication of the Leveson Report (436 of 2,016, or 21.6%),

    • A majority of the 1,421 articles – news and opinion – which contained an evaluative statement contained only negative viewpoints. 835

    articles (58.8%) contained only negative or critical viewpoints. 217 (15.3%)

    contained only positive or supportive views, and 370 (26.0%) contained

    both supportive and critical viewpoints.

    • Both the Leveson Report and the Cross-Party Royal Charter received a majority of negative coverage. 55.8% of articles containing a view on the

    Leveson Report were entirely critical (i.e. containing not one single positive

    reference), outnumbering positive articles by three to one. This rises to

    64.5% of articles on the Cross-Party Charter, where the ratio is four to one.

    • Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter were widely portrayed as a threat to press freedom. In total, 862 articles contained this assertion by

    a source or by the journalist - over 40% of all articles on any aspect of press

    regulation. As a proportion of the 1,421 articles containing a viewpoint on

    Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter, this figure rises to 60.7%.

    8 See Part 1 of this analysis: http://mediastandardstrust.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2013/05/MST-Leveson-Analysis-090513-v2.pdf

  • 27MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    While the previous section presented the overall figures for coverage of press

    regulation in the UK national press, the analysis here focuses on how the individual

    newspapers covered press regulation.

    The focus here is on three areas:

    • Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter, including examples of ‘Negative-only’, ‘Positive-only’ and ‘Both Positive and Negative’ Articles, to illustrate

    the nature of coverage

    • How other events relevant to press regulation were covered• The different approaches to coverage by different sections of the press

    The results in this section are based – unless otherwise stated – on the subset of 1,421

    articles in which viewpoints on press regulation were included.

    How the newspapers covered Leveson and the Cross-

    Party Charter

    As the results of the previous section demonstrated, the UK national press coverage

    of press regulation was highly partial and broadly negative about the main proposed

    solution: the recommendations in the Leveson Report, most of which were then

    incorporated in the Cross-Party Charter.

    Over two-thirds of all articles contained an opinion about Leveson and the Charter,

    and of those articles, negativity predominated: the number of articles containing

    wholly negative views outnumber those that contained only supportive views by

    almost four-to-one, and articles containing both critical and supportive viewpoints

    by over two-to-one.

    While that evidence is significant, demonstrating that the UK national press tended

    to oppose the reforms proposed in the Leveson Inquiry, it does not show the degree

    of diversity in how the 19 separate titles approached the issue.

    This section explores how individual newspapers – grouped, for convenience, by

    publisher – covered press regulation. Given the large amount of data, the information

    on each newspaper is summarised here. Appendix 1 contains the full set of data for

    all 19 newspapers.

    For each newspaper, a summary will be included here that lists the following

    measures:

    • The ratio of articles that contained only negative references to Leveson or the Royal Charter, against those which contained only positive references.

    • The percentage of articles in which Both supportive and critical viewpoints

    5. HOW EACH NEWSPAPER COVERED PRESS REGULATION

  • 28Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    are featured

    • The prevalence (expressed as a percentage of those articles in which a view was expressed) of the argument that Leveson and/or the Cross-Party

    Charter represented a threat to press freedom or freedom of expression.

    News UK Titles

    The Sun

    Summary of coverage in the Sun

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    29 : 1 14.9% 79.4%

    The Sun featured an overall total of 179 articles that mentioned press regulation

    – a large volume relative to other tabloids, which may be partly explained by the

    paper’s seven-day publication.1

    Table 1: The Sun - Press regulation coverage data

    Articles: With frame(s): 141 Overall: 179

    Tone:

    Positive-only: 4

    Negative-only: 116

    Both: 21

    Percentage of articles ‘negative-only’: 82.2%

    Negative-to-positive ratio: 29 : 1

    Frames

    Negative Positive

    Threat (with % prevalence): 112 (79.4%) Supports Leveson: 12

    Leveson/Charter Specific Criticism: 31 Supports underpinning: 3

    Questions Legitimacy of Leveson: 13 Supports Cross-Party Charter: 13

    International Reputation: 9

    Critical of March 17th Process: 12

    Of these 179 articles, 141 contained a view on Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter

    (expressed via one of the ‘frames’ listed in Section 3 above). Negative-only articles

    dominated: 116 in total, or 82.2% of all those articles in which one or more views

    were expressed. The ratio of negative-only to positive-only articles was 29-to-1, one of

    1 Full results for The Sun and all other newspapers are in Appendix 1

  • 29MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    the highest ratios in the sample. Overall, coverage was highly negative – combining

    the articles where ‘both’ positive and negative views were expressed with those in

    which only one side was represented shows the extent of the imbalance: 137 articles

    (97%) contained a negative view, and just 25 (18%) contained a positive one.

    As separate issues, the Sun’s coverage of both the Leveson Report and the Cross-

    Party Charter was negative – 86.7% (72/83) of articles expressing a view on Leveson

    were negative-only, as were 76.7% (46/60) of those where a view on the Charter was

    included (these figures for each title can be found in Appendix 1).

    The Sun tended to frame press regulation as a threat to press freedom. This frame

    was recorded in 112 articles – 79.4% of articles where a view was expressed, and

    over 60% of all 179 articles mentioning any aspect of press regulation.

    The Times and Sunday Times

    Summary of coverage in The Times

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    5.3 : 1 27.0% 61.3%

    The Times published a total of 217 articles on press regulation in this period. Of

    these 217 articles, around two-thirds (137) contained evaluative statements about

    Leveson or the Charter (see Appendix 1). Again, coverage was negative, though

    slightly less negative than the Sun (61.3% negative-only, a ratio of over five to one).

    Again, Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter each received a majority of negative

    coverage, although this time there was a marked difference between the two.

    Around half (47.4%) of articles expressing a view on Leveson contained only critical

    viewpoints; this figure was 71.4% for articles concerning the Charter. The issue was

    most frequently framed as a threat to press freedom – this view appeared in 82

    articles (59.9%).

    Summary of coverage in the Sunday Times

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    6 : 1 22.2% 77.8%

    The Sunday Times published 53 articles on press regulation in this period. 45 of these

    articles were evaluative (as opposed to neutral). Two-thirds of evaluative articles

    were ‘negative-only’, only five were ‘positive-only’. This represents a negative to

    positive ratio of 6:1. The Sunday Times was highly negative towards both Leveson

  • 30Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    (64.3%) and the Cross-Party Charter (71.4%). Almost eight in ten of evaluative articles

    contained the ‘threat’ frame (35 articles, 77.8% of those expressing a view).

    Overall, all three News UK titles expressed an overwhelmingly negative view of

    Leveson and the Charter. The Sun’s balance of 29 negative-only articles to every

    positive article is notably high, and is accompanied by the fact that under 15% of Sun

    articles contained both critical and supportive views. It is instructive, too, that both

    News UK broadsheets also contained a substantial imbalance of negative to positive

    articles (5 to 1 in The Times and 6 to 1 in the Sunday Times), and low levels of articles

    containing both positive and negative viewpoints (27% and 22.2% respectively).

    DMG Media Titles

    The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday

    Summary of coverage in the Daily Mail

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    33.8 : 1 13.0% 73.5%

    The Daily Mail’s volume of coverage is comparable with many of the broadsheet

    newspapers – 251 articles, 200 of which contained a view on Leveson or the Cross-

    Party Charter. The Daily Mail was, of all newspapers, the most negative, both in

    terms of volume and proportion. 169 articles contained only negative viewpoints

    (84.5% of those which contained a view), compared with just five that contained

    only positive views – a ratio of over 33:1. Again the ‘threat frame’ was extremely

    common, expressed in 147 articles, but other critical frames were also present – 74

    articles contained specific criticisms of the Leveson recommendations, 31 questioned

    the legitimacy of Leveson, 41 were critical of the process of agreeing the Cross-Party

    Charter on March 17th, and 12 contained the criticism that the UK’s international

    reputation would be harmed by Leveson.

    Summary of coverage in the Mail on Sunday

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    12.5 : 1 12.9% 74.2%

    The Mail on Sunday was also overwhelmingly negative, although with a smaller

    number of articles overall (53, of which 31 expressed a view), which amplifies the

    effect of small variations in numbers. In total, 80.6% of articles expressing a view

    contained only negative statements on Leveson/the Charter, a ratio of more than 12

  • 31MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    negative-only articles to one positive-only. As with all titles discussed so far, both

    Leveson (78.5% Negative-only) and the Cross-Party Charter (89.5% Negative) were

    subject to a majority of negative coverage. Again, the ‘threat’ frame was the most

    prominent, appearing in 23 (74.2%) articles, where a view was expressed.

    Telegraph Media Group

    The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

    Summary of coverage in the Daily Telegraph

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    6.2 : 1 24.3% 75.7%

    After the Guardian and the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph published the third-

    highest number of articles containing a view on Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter

    – 189 – out of a total of 270 articles on press regulation in this period. The Sunday

    Telegraph was less prolific, publishing 30 articles in which a view was expressed, out

    of a total of 33. Both newspapers contained a majority of negative viewpoints (65.1%

    ‘negative-only’ in the Daily Telegraph; 73.3% in the Sunday Telegraph; respective

    negative to positive ratios of over 6:1 and over 7:1). The ‘threat’ frame was similarly

    prevalent, articulated in 75.7% of those Daily and 86.7% of Sunday Telegraph articles

    where a view was expressed.

    Summary of coverage in the Sunday Telegraph

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    7.3 : 1 16.7% 73.3%

    Though the balance was towards negative, the Daily Telegraph did contain a higher

    degree of positive framing than noted in the titles discussed so far: 41 articles

    contained one or more statement that was supportive of the Leveson Report (21.7%

    of the total), and 26 contained one or more statement that was supportive of the

    Cross-Party Charter (13.8%). However, these accounted for fewer than half of the

    references to a perceived ‘threat to press freedom’ alone.

  • 32Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Trinity Mirror

    The Daily Mirror

    Summary of coverage in the Daily Mirror

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    8.7 : 1 25.6% 82.1%

    The Daily Mirror published a total of 98 articles on press regulation in this period, of

    which 78 (79.6%) expressed a view. As with its tabloid rival the Sun, a majority of the

    articles in the Daily Mirror that expressed a view were negative-only (66.7% of 78

    articles expressing a view). This was a relatively smaller proportion in comparison

    to the Sun, and the Mirror’s ‘positive-only to negative-only’ ratio, at slightly under

    nine to one, was also less pronounced (although still markedly negative). This is

    partly explained by the Mirror’s different approach to Leveson (54.1% negative-

    only) and the Cross-Party Charter (76.7% negative-only). Again, however, the ‘threat’

    frame dominated, appearing in 82.1% of articles expressing a view.

    The Sunday Mirror and Sunday People

    Summary of coverage in the Sunday Mirror

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    1.5 : 1 9.1% 54.5%

    Summary of coverage in the Sunday People

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    N/A: 3/3 Negative-only 0% 100%

    Trinity Mirror’s Sunday titles contained a very small number of articles: 13 overall

    for the Sunday Mirror and just five in the People. The numbers for the People are so

    small that valid comparison is difficult, but similarities of coverage are apparent:

    of the three articles in which a view was expressed, all were negative-only, and all

    contained the ‘threat’ frame.

    The Sunday Mirror diverges slightly in that the percentage of negative-only articles

    is significantly smaller (54.5%, with 50% of articles expressing a view about the

  • 33MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Cross-Party Charter containing only positive opinions). This would appear in part

    to be down to the very small number of articles (6 negative-only vs 4 positive-only),

    and the effect of a weekly column by Lord Prescott broadly supporting the Cross-

    Party Charter on more than one occasion.

    Northern and Shell

    The Daily Express and Sunday Express

    Summary of coverage in the Daily Express

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    3.7 : 1 38.2% 64.7%

    The Daily Express published 94 articles on press regulation in this period, of which

    72.3% - 68 articles – expressed a view. The Sunday Express published 16 articles on

    press regulation in this period of which 93.8%% - 15 articles – expressed a view.

    While every newspaper covered so far has followed a similar formula of: a majority

    of negative coverage; high ratios of positive-to-negative coverage; and a high

    prevalence of the ‘threat’ frame, the Express titles were less systematically negative

    in their coverage of Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter. ‘Negative-only’ articles

    accounted for 48.5% of articles containing views in the Daily Express, although these

    still outnumbered ‘positive-only’ articles by almost four to one, and the ‘threat’

    featured in almost two-thirds of articles expressing a view.

    Summary of coverage in the Sunday Express

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    Both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    0.8 : 1 26.7% 53.3%

    The Sunday Express was considerably less negative – it is the only title so far

    mentioned where there were more ‘positive-only’ (6) articles than ‘negative-only’

    (5). As with the Sunday Mirror this may be in part down to the small sample (16

    articles overall, with 15 containing one or more frames), although it is also the case

    that there were more articles supporting Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter (10 in

    total) than contained the ‘threat’ frame (8), partly due to a small number of articles

    (4 in total) that contained quotes or references to victims or members of the Hacked

    Off campaign.

  • 34Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    The Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday

    Summary of coverage in the Daily Star

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    9 : 1 16.7% 83.3%

    The Daily Star published 23 articles on press regulation in this period. Of the articles

    that expressed a view, 9 (or 75%) were negative-only, compared to just one positive-

    only article. As with the Express, the sample size is much smaller than in most of the

    other nationals. The threat frame appeared in 10 of 12 articles in which any view

    was expressed.

    Summary of coverage in the Daily Star Sunday

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    N/A: No views N/A N/A

    The Daily Star Sunday featured just one article on press regulation (according to the

    sampling technique applied in this project), and this did not feature an evaluative

    statement about Leveson or the Cross-Party Charter. This indicates that the title did

    not believe its audience would be interested in the issue.

    Guardian Media Group

    The Guardian

    Summary of coverage in the Guardian

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    Both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    1 : 1 27.3% 35.2%

    The Guardian represents a substantial departure from the style of coverage analysed

    up to this point. Indeed, the difference in coverage in the remaining titles discussed

    here is such that it is possible to explore structural differences in how certain

    sections of the national press covered the issue. These structural differences will be

    explored further in the last part of this section.

  • 35MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    Table 2 shows the contrast in coverage, in comparison with the Sun’s figures in Table

    1 (data for all newspapers is set out in Appendix 1). The Guardian covered the issue

    extensively – 405 articles in total, of which 236 contained one or more evaluative

    statements about Leveson or the Charter. Of these, 36.4% contained only negative

    viewpoints, with an almost equal proportion of ‘positive-only’ articles. Significantly,

    only 35.2% of articles expressing a view contained the ‘threat’ frame. While many

    articles did contain one or more critical/negative frames, there were a greater

    number of instances of articles containing positive frames: 101 articles contained

    statements supportive of the Leveson recommendations, 60 articles contained

    statements supportive of the Cross-Party Charter, for instance.

    The Observer

    Summary of coverage in the Observer

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    2.6 : 1 21.7% 30.4%

    For a Sunday title, the Observer contained a relatively high number of stories on

    press regulation – 70 in total, more than one per week of the sample – of which

    48 contained a viewpoint. Coverage was more negative than the Guardian, with

    26 articles (54.2%) containing only negative viewpoints, more than double the

    proportion that contained only positive views or that contained both positive and

    negative perspectives. The ‘threat’ frame was, in keeping with the Guardian, far less

    prevalent than in other titles, and was overshadowed by a critical focus on specific

    aspects of the Leveson recommendations and/or the provisions in the Cross-Party

    Charter.

    Independent Print Ltd.

    The Independent

    Summary of coverage in the Independent

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    0.9 : 1 57.7% 30.9%

    While the Guardian contained a greater proportion of ‘positive-only’ articles relative

    to other newspapers so far, the Independent is notable in the space devoted to

    articles containing both positive and negative viewpoints. While the focus on press

  • 36Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    regulation was significantly lower than at the Guardian (148 articles, of which 97

    expressed a view), less than one in five articles was ‘negative-only’, while 57.7%

    contained both critical and supportive viewpoints. A comparably low proportion

    of articles contained the ‘threat’ frame, and again it was not the most prevalent

    frame; like the Guardian and Observer more articles contained specific criticisms

    of recommendations, and more frames were supportive of Leveson and the Cross-

    Party Charter.

    The Independent on Sunday

    Summary of coverage in the Independent on Sunday

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    0.3 : 1 33.3% 33.3%

    The Independent on Sunday contained very few articles on press regulation overall,

    so comparisons should be treated with care. However, similar characteristics to

    the Independent and the GMG titles can be seen: a low proportion of ‘negative-only’

    articles, more articles with positive references, and less common reference to the

    ‘threat’ frame, which appeared in just four out of 12 articles in which any view was

    expressed.

    Pearson

    The Financial Times

    Summary of coverage in the Financial Times

    Negative vs. Positive

    Articles

    % articles where

    Both views

    represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame

    2.3 : 1 47.8% 37.2%

    Finally, the FT published 97 articles overall, of which 69 expressed a view. Of these,

    like the Independent, the greatest proportion contained both positive and negative

    viewpoints (33 articles, or 47.8%). Negative-only articles outnumbered positive-only

    articles by over two to one, but the threat frame was not as prominent, being present

    in 37.7% of articles, fewer than those articles mentioning specific reservations about

    the recommendations for reform of regulation in the Leveson Report or the Cross-

    Party Charter.

    Overall, as this analysis has shown, three things have characterised the coverage of

    Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter in the UK national press (see Table 2):

  • 37MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    • In most newspapers the overwhelming majority of evaluative coverage was negative. This fluctuated across different titles; in 15 out of 19 newspapers

    the proportion of articles containing only negative viewpoints outweighed

    the proportion containing only positive viewpoints. The Daily Mail had over

    33 negative-only articles for every one positive-only article; the Sun had 29

    negative-only articles for every positive-only article. Several broadsheets

    also contained this imbalance, though in a less pronounced manner.

    • The proportion of evaluative articles where both critical and supportive viewpoints were included was generally low – in only two titles (the

    Independent and the Financial Times) did a large proportion of such articles

    contain both sides of the argument.

    • The ‘threat’ frame was overwhelmingly dominant. In many titles it appeared in over three-quarters of evaluative articles.

    Table 2: Comparing newspaper coverage - key indicators

    TitleNegative-only :

    Positive-only

    Percentage where Both

    views represented

    Prevalence of ‘threat’

    frame in articles

    expressing a view

    Daily Mail 33.8 : 1 13.0% 73.5%

    Sun 29 : 1 14.9% 79.4%

    Mail on Sunday 12.5 : 1 12.9% 74.2%

    Daily Star 9 : 1 16.7% 83.3%

    Daily Mirror 8.7 : 1 25.6% 82.1%

    Sunday Telegraph 7.3 : 1 16.7% 73.3%

    Daily Telegraph 6.2 : 1 24.3% 75.7%

    Sunday Times 6 : 1 22.2% 77.8%

    Times 5.3 : 1 27.0% 61.3%

    Daily Express 3.7 : 1 38.2% 64.7%

    Observer 2.6 : 1 21.7% 30.4%

    Financial Times 2.3 : 1 47.8% 37.2%

    Sunday Mirror 1.5 : 1 9.1% 54.5%

    Guardian 1 : 1 27.3% 35.7%

    Independent 0.9 : 1 57.7% 30.9%

    Sunday Express 0.8 : 1 26.7% 53.3%

    Independent on Sunday 0.3 : 1 33.3% 33.3%

    People N/A: 3/3 Negative-only 0% 100%

    Daily Star Sunday N/A: No views N/A N/A

  • 38Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    Chart 1: Number of negative articles for every positive article, by newspaper (N=1,421)1

    There is, however, evidence of a structural difference in how certain publishers

    covered the issue. In general, the Guardian and Independent titles, along with the

    FT, tended to have a closer ratio of negative-only to positive-only articles (ranging

    from 2.6 : 1 in the Observer to 0.3 : 1 in the Independent on Sunday), and a greater

    percentage of evaluative articles containing both critical and supportive views of

    Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter, and proportionally fewer references to the

    threat to press freedom. 2

    2 Daily Star Sunday not included, as no articles contained any views; People not included, because 3/3 articles were negative

    Ratio: Number of Negative articles to every Positive article, by newspaper (N = 1,421)Independent on Sunday (N = 21)0.3Sunday Express (N = 16)0.8Independent (N = 148)0.9Guardian (N = 403) 1Sunday Mirror (N = 13)1.5Financial Times (N = 97)2.3Observer (N = 72) 2.6Daily Express (N = 94)3.7Times (N = 217) 5.3Sunday Times (N = 53)6Daily Telegraph (N = 270)6.2Sunday Telegraph (N = 33)7.3Daily Mirror (N = 98)8.7Daily Star (N = 23) 9Mail on Sunday (N = 53)12.5Sun (N = 179) 29Daily Mail (N = 251)33.8

    NB - Daily Star Sunday not included, as no articles contained any views, People not included, because 3/3 articles were negative

    0.3

    0.8

    0.9

    1

    1.5

    2.3

    2.6

    3.7

    5.3

    6

    6.2

    7.3

    8.7

    9

    12.5

    29

    33.8

    Independent on Sunday (N = 21)

    Sunday Express (N = 16)

    Independent (N = 148)

    Guardian (N = 403)

    Sunday Mirror (N = 13)

    Financial Times (N = 97)

    Observer (N = 72)

    Daily Express (N = 94)

    Times (N = 217)

    Sunday Times (N = 53)

    Daily Telegraph (N = 270)

    Sunday Telegraph (N = 33)

    Daily Mirror (N = 98)

    Daily Star (N = 23)

    Mail on Sunday (N = 53)

    Sun (N = 179)

    Daily Mail (N = 251)

  • 39MEDIA STANDARDS TRUST

    How other relevant events were covered

    The results for each of the national newspapers show that coverage of Leveson and

    the Cross-Party Charter was, in the majority of papers, overwhelmingly negative.

    Table 3 compiles the balance of coverage in each newspaper for both the Leveson

    Report and recommendations, and the Cross-Party Charter as separate issues.

    The percentages in Table 3 denote the largest proportion of articles for each title,

    by tone category: those that are wholly negative, wholly positive, or contain both

    negative and positive viewpoints. For instance, of the Sun articles that contained a

    viewpoint on the Cross-Party Charter, 76.7% contained only negative views, while,

    of Independent articles about Leveson, 40.4% contained both positive and negative

    opinions (more than the proportion of negative-only or positive-only articles).

    Table 3: Balance of Coverage of Leveson and Cross-Party Charter (N = 1,421)

    Title No. of articles Balance: LevesonBalance: Cross-Party

    Charter

    Sun 141 86.7% Negative 76.7% Negative

    Daily Mirror 78 54.1% Negative 76.7% Negative

    Sunday Mirror 11 66.7% Negative 50.0% Positive

    People 3 100% Negative 100% Negative

    Daily Star 12 83.3% Negative 66.7% Negative

    Daily Star Sunday 0 N/A N/A

    Daily Express 68 = Negative & Both 74.1% Negative

    Sunday Express 15 50.0% Positive 66.7% Negative

    Daily Mail 200 86.2% Negative 85.0% Negative

    Mail on Sunday 31 76.5% Negative 89.5% Negative

    Times 137 47.4% Negative 71.4% Negative

    Sunday Times 45 64.3% Negative 71.4% Negative

    Daily Telegraph 189 61.2% Negative 70.5% Negative

    Sunday Telegraph 30 46.2% Negative 94.4% Negative

    Guardian 238 45.0% Positive 46.8% Negative

    Observer 46 57.7% Negative 53.8% Negative

    Independent 97 40.4% Both 66.7% Both

    Independent on Sunday 12 = Positive & Both 80.0% Positive

    Financial Times 69 51.2% Both 42.9% Negative

  • 40Analysis: Press Coverage of Leveson (Part 2)

    This is in itself a significant conclusion. However, the issue of press regulation

    became more complex in the year following Leveson, as the timeline in Section 2

    (above) illustrates. While this project was primarily based around analysing the

    coverage of Leveson and the Cross-Party Charter, a secondary analysis was also

    undertaken to see how other related issues were covered during the time period of

    the study.

    The additional six events chosen for analysis (also outlined in full in Section 3 above)

    were:

    • The February 12th Draft Royal Charter, drafted by the Conservatives in consultation with the newspaper industry

    • David Cameron’s decision to suspend cross-party talks on a new Charter on March 14th

    • The Industry Royal Charter presented as a rival to the Cross-Party Charter in April 2013

    • IPSO – the Independent Press Standards Organisation: the newspaper industry’s new regulator, launched in July 2013

    • The Privy Council’s decision to reject the Industry Charter in early October 2013

    • The Privy Council’s sealing of the Cross-Party Charter in late October 2013

    The reasons for choosing this list are set out in the timeline in Section 2: briefly, these

    were the most significant events relating to the implementation of a

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