The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Yes, I do. To be fair, if I was to have this discussion with a journalist, and I have had this discussion with journalists, with the editor of a tabloid or something, they pay a very great deal of attention to their readers' views and I think that most of them do believe that they represent them, but it's at a level of first reaction. It's not at a level of sensible discussion. That's the problem with all opinion polls. You can get a yes/no answer to things, but you don't get an answer on how strongly the person holds that opinion or whether they would hold the same opinion if for five minutes you explained the competing arguments.

I therefore -- perhaps because of my own bias -- think some of the newspapers, not all of them, present a kind of frenzied version of what they believe to be the opinion of their readers. The moment you doubt it, they rush out and hold some slightly unscientific opinion poll saying, "95 per cent of the Bugle's readers agree with this" and all the rest of it. I personally don't believe it. You don't need them.

Also, the proportion of the population that still reads newspapers is not very high. Far more people watch broadcasting than read the newspapers.

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