Public considers newspapers intrusive and wants internet regulated, finds Ofcom

The majority of British adults view newspapers as the most intrusive form of media when it comes to invading the privacy of not only celebrities but also the general public, according to a new report by Ofcom.

Intrusive? The public thinks so (Credit: Valerie Everett via Flickr)
Intrusive? The public thinks so (Credit: Valerie Everett via Flickr)

Television ranks in second place when it comes to media intrusion, says the survey of UK adults' attitudes to the media.

"Newspapers were considered by the majority of adults to be the medium most intrusive into the lives of people in the public eye (39 per cent) and into the lives of members of the general public (35 per cent)," it states.

"As in 2014, adults considered television to be the second most intrusive form of media; the numbers citing television were significantly higher than in 2014," it adds.

There is a high awareness of media regulation, with nine in ten adults aware of the 9pm watershed after which programmes unsuitable for children can be shown, according to the report released last week.

"However, as with tolerance of particular types of content, awareness of the watershed differs by age: awareness is higher among older than younger adults," it says.

Yet while the watershed is well known, most viewers were unaware of product placement on television, with just a third (33 per cent) of adults aware of the marketing tactic being used in programmes.

When it comes to attitudes of British adults towards the media, 52 per cent of those who go online "strongly" agreed that the internet needed to be regulated.

In contrast, one in ten believed that everything they viewed online was already regulated. And while most internet users remained willing to provide some form of personal information, a growing number refused to give out their home address due to security concerns – with the proportion having risen from 17 per cent to 21 per cent since 2014.

The vast majority of people (82 per cent) give the minimum amount of personal information needed. And one in four admitted to having provided fake or incorrect details on some websites in an attempt to protect their personal identity online, states the report.

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