Nov 192016

The Sun claimed Jeremy Corbyn danced (don’t bother clicking; the story was removed for legal reasons) down Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday. What actually happened is that a photographer edited a picture to show Corbyn apparently waving his hand as though he were dancing when he was really walking, talking, and gesturing with a veteran (a Desert Rat).

So what The Sun really did was airbrush out a veteran in order to pursue an ongoing vendetta against Corbyn. Now pursuing a vendetta against Corbyn is fair enough – if you restrict yourself to his policies and politically relevant stories. But making up lies and you lose your status as a newspaper and become a “liepaper”.

There are those who argue that it was the photographer that invented the story, and that The Sun was taken in by the lie. Which is why the first rule of journalism is to make sure you have at least two sources, and check the sources. Again, not following this basic rule disqualifies The Sun as a newspaper and makes it a liepaper.



Feb 032013

It is all too easy to just condemn those vile dregs of humanity who work for the gutter press, and pander to the lowest tastes of people in the name of “news”. They are, after all responsible for the low opinion everyone has of journalists which must be galling to those who actually deserve the title “journalist”.

But we must also remember that despite how unlikely it seems, these dregs actually believe that they are real journalists. This makes them dangerously deluded.

In a less enlightened society, we could amuse ourselves by watching the antics of such creatures – as indeed was done in the past with those poor unfortunates who populated places such as Bedlam, but whether we do that or try to treat them, we do need to keep society safe from their destructive activities.

By all means provide them with a safe community where they can carry on with their “journalistic” activities without harming the real world. And eventually once they have been cured of the delusion that they are real journalists, they can be released into the communities as hack writers of romantic fiction and the like.

Aug 242012

So the Sun have decided to print naked photos of Prince Harry claiming that it is about ‘freedom of the press’. Well maybe.

Now I’m hardly an ardent royalist – it is a really daft way of picking a head of state, but it does at least have the advantage of keeping politicians out of the role. And of course helps the tourism industry.

Bear in mind that if a photographer makes images of a person for commercial purposes, then they need to obtain a model release form before publishing the photos. There are of course public interest exceptions (plus artistic and personal use exceptions). But is re-publishing Harry’s naked pics, news?

We all know that Harry was caught at a party by a photographer naked, and that those photos have been published on a web site (or two) in the US. So whatever the Sun was doing couldn’t be called breaking news, where there might be a justification to publish the naked pics just to demonstrate that they do in fact exist. Hence there was no call to publish the photos to tell us that Harry was caught partying naked.

So if this item published by the Sun isn’t news, then what is it ? Well it’s just porn designed to increase the circulation of the Sun “news” paper – or in other words these photos were published for commercial reasons. So they really need the permission of Harry to publish them. I somehow doubt they have that.

Perhaps Harry could sue the Sun for publishing these photos without permission!

And is it really proper news anyway? The fact that he was partying naked might seem shocking to some of us, but let’s be honest – he’s of an age where he’s going to be a bit of an arse from time to time. And most of us were just the same at his age. Royals (at least the males – Kate perhaps needs to redress the balance slightly) have a long history of partying hard, and that is hardly surprising.

I don’t see this story as real news; a proper newspaper might well publish a story about Harry partying naked and add some po-faced opinion about how this is no way for a royal to behave, but there is no reason to publish the photos. Which pretty much demonstrates that the Sun no longer has the right to call itself a newspaper – it is merely a pornographic periodical concentrating on unauthorised photos of celebrities.