Media Standards Trust

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The Media Standards Trust was formed in 2006 to address concerns of a deterioration in journalistic standards at a time when the British media, according to some, were becoming enormously powerful while remaining largely opaque and unaccountable.[1]

Standards in journalism[edit]

In the organization's view, revolutionary changes in way in which news is produced, funded, packaged, delivered and consumed has led to less accurate reporting, less substantial sourcing, an escalation in the use of "manufactured news", an increase in self-censorship, a growth of subjective over objective reporting, and a reduction in sustained, in-depth reporting.[2]

To these ends Media Standards Trust hosts debates about standards in the news media,[3] conducts research into areas of concern, and hosts on-line projects, as well as co-sponsoring The Orwell Prize.


Foundations which have contributed of the Media Standards Trust include Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, MacArthur Foundation, Nuffield Foundation, Eranda Foundation, Scott Trust.

Individuals who have contributed to the Trust include Christopher Stone, Robert Worcester.[4][5]


The director of the Media Standards Trust is Martin Moore, author of The Origins of Modern Spin - Democratic Government and the Media in Britain, 1945-51 (ISBN 9781403989567).

The Board of Trustees has included


In 2007 the MST founded The site performs a dual function, serving both as an archive of over four million news articles and a database of several thousand journalists, providing a portfolio of their work, biographical and contact information for the benefit of the public.[9] The site scrapes the news articles from several national and local publications, and sorts them according to byline. The database is utilized by the MST for conducting research into matters relating to news coverage, and publishes a weekly newsletter summarizing contemporary trends in news.[10]

Hacked Off[edit]

In light of the June 2011 allegations of the News of the World journalists phone hacking into the mobilephone voice mail of murder victim Milly Dowler, on 5 July 2011 in partnership with Professor Brian Cathcart and other concerned individuals, MST formed the "Hacked Off" campaign. Registering the site, the campaign aimed to campaign for a public inquiry into phone hacking. The campaign was directly supported by: Lord Fowler, Professor Onora O’Neill, Francis Wheen, Tom Watson MP, Dr Ben Goldacre, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Sir David Bell, DD Guttenplan, Professor Roy Greenslade, Professor Ian Hargreaves, John Lloyd, Isabel Hilton, Ian Jack, John Pilger, John Prescott, Richard Peppiatt, Andreas Whittam Smith, J.K. Rowling,[11] and others. Soon after launch, the campaign gained the support of actor Hugh Grant, who became a public spokesperson, appearing on Question Time and Newsnight,[12] and criticism from The Register, which described it as a "secretive pressure group...of wealthy and powerful individuals and celebrities...which has successfully campaigned for state control of the media".[13]


External links[edit]