Sunday, February 27, 2011

Harold Evans: Intelligent, traditional media are crucial to the defence of our liberty

Revelations about the 'News of the World' had not been exposed when Cebrián was writing about how some journalists had become spies, informers and smear artists
Saturday, 26 February 2011
Has the advent of social media doomed dictatorships to short lives?
It is a nice thought, encouraged by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, facilitated by digital activists, but the double fist of shutting down the internet and hammering the people on the streets has kept the authoritarians in control in Belarus, in Thailand, in China and Iran.
Where there are genuine grievances, we tell ourselves the pabulum of official propaganda cannot gainsay thousands – millions! – of people sharing information and then a few keystrokes of text messaging can summon a mass protest. It is too early to guess what will happen in Libya or Yemen. It is chilling to note that after everyone got excited about the uprising in Iran, the very social media we applauded made it easier for the repressors to trace and bash the bloggers: "We know where you live..."
It is true that in our digital age, discontents no longer simmer. They erupt. "I can call spirits from the vasty deep," said Glendower in Henry IV, and today there'd be no Hotspur to ask, "But will they come when you do call for them?" They will come when a free flow of information blows the lid off a totalitarian society. But while we celebrate digital activism, let's not forget that intelligent and resourceful traditional media can be just as crucial in the defence of liberty. It is not axiomatic that the street protests facilitated by Facebook, Twitter and texting will produce a responsible democracy. That requires a steady flow of reliable information not compressible into 140 characters; it requires leadership and respect for the rule of law.
Spain is a timely case in point. We take it for granted that it's a stable, vibrant democracy. We should remember when it wasn't; for a start, when General Franco led a nationalist coup against the elected Republican government. Franco was more of a hard-line conservative authoritarian than a fascist, but ran the country with an iron fist for 36 years, violently suppressing dissent and censoring the press. Gradually, in the exigencies of the Cold War, a prospering Spain was welcomed back into the Western community of nations, and at the end of his life Franco redeemed himself in the eyes of many by arranging an orderly transition to rule by King Juan Carlos. The king at once instituted a parliamentary democracy and Spain lived happily ever after. Not exactly.
Only five years after Franco's death, Spain's fledgling democracy was once more threatened by a military coup. The multitudes of visitors to Spain who feel the reverberations of history in Madrid and Barcelona and Granada and Cordoba, capital of the Islamic caliphate, probably haven't a clue about 23 February 1981, as relevant to Spain's history as any stone monument in a city square. A lieutenant colonel, one Antonio Tejero, burst into the elected Spanish Congress of Deputies supported by 200 armed officers. They sprayed the ceiling with submachine-gun fire and informed the terrified deputies crouching on the floor that they were hostages pending the arrival of an official to acknowledge the colonel and his plotters as the new rulers of Spain. Tanks were on the streets in Valencia. Madrid's radio and TV station was seized by the plotters, and duly announced their triumph. Spanish democracy was over again.
Well, not yet. Two important institutions stood between the plotters and a return to authoritarian rule for heaven knows how long this time: King Juan Carlos and the press. And by the press I mean pre-eminently El País, the newspaper edited by Juan Luis Cebrián. That evening he got out a special edition of his paper. It reported what had happened and carried a biting condemnation on the illegality of the coup, a call to the country to stand by king, constitution and democracy.
They rushed copies to the king. A copy reached the chamber where Tejero stood at the rostrum with his gun. One of the beleaguered deputies, Javier Solana, remembers breathing more easily when he looked up, astounded to see Tejero holding a copy of El País. Tejero might as well have been holding a grenade with the pin out; he was in effect reading his political obituary. His co-plotter, an insurgent general who was supposed to take firm control of television and radio, lost his nerve. About six hours after receiving the edition of El País, the king in full military regalia was able to appear on national television and denounce the plotters.
The story of the coup that collapsed is as important in any history of the press as Watergate or the Pentagon papers, but too little known outside Spain. Thirty years after the coup, Cebrián chooses not to relate his heroic role, but it forms a backlight to his thoughtful essays on the press. His sketch of how news and comment were managed in a military dictatorship has a comic-opera quality it did not have in its heyday. Maybe even then, by comparison, say, with the way they went about these things in North Korea and Brezhnev's Russia, Spanish insouciance took some of the venom out of the sting, but it was certainly stultifying. Only the Government could authorise a newspaper; publishers had to be licensed. "Apart from intellectual delirium," as Cebriá* puts it, censorship worked like a bureaucratic machine... Executive editors were appointed by the minister and everything published – news, photographs, advertising – had to pass official inspection. It was unthinkable, of course, that Franco could ever err.
The transition to democracy was awkward. Spain at all levels had only the vaguest notions of how the freedom the king ordained worked or was supposed to work, how the country could advance at all when ills could be ventilated, wielders of power held accountable, reputations assailed. The press, which had learned to live in authoritarian society but never lost its ideals, was the only institution really capable of teaching democracy to people who had never lived in a democracy. The trade unions had been forbidden, the judiciary and other social institutions were ineffectual, economic forces were weak, and the military leaders were confused. El País became a forum for debate and conciliation, a symbol of the transition. Cebriá* notes that its subsequent professional and commercial success "is still resented in certain circles".
Cebrián is no mere booster. He is caustic about corruption of the ideals that animate responsible journalism. The perversion of investigative journalism, especially on Spanish television, he calls "a curse of our time".
The revelations about how Rupert Murdoch's News of the World found a way into private voicemail messages had not been exposed when Cebrián was writing furiously how some journalists had become spies and informers, gross invaders of privacy, smear artists in the vein of Joe McCarthy. It's not a Spanish custom. It is an international plague, manifest in particular in obnoxious websites that trade in abuse and paranoia, "their arbitrariness unchecked".
And that kind of conduct is as much a danger to a democracy as any strutting general.
Harold Evans was editor of 'The Sunday Times' (1967-1981) and 'The Times' (1981-1982). This essay is a version of his foreword to 'The Piano Player in the Brothel' by Juan Luis Cebrián to be published by Duckworth on 10 March

The EVIL of MURDOCH : He is now in the process of using his gutter press to persecute a widow , Mariana Schmueker, whose husband had nothing to do with the death of Madeleine McCann.MURDOCH, also used THE SUN to abuse Mariluz Cortes by implying her abduction was connected to the death of Madeleine McCann. The Portuguese Police believed then and still believe to this day, the McCanns 'break in' of the apartment, was pure fabrication.

SPINWATCH: the medias function...

Phone hacker told to reveal who hired him...

Rebekah Brooks the ultimate victim ?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Calls for MURDOCH to sack Mormon Glenn beck...

Adam Curtis: MURDOCH a portrait of satan

Cameron 'a liar or an idiot'?.. he certainly has a fully fitted apartment living up the backside of MURDOCH

Phone hacking. PI ordered to name 17 celebs on target list..

Fleet Street hacking...whats the problem ?

Murdoch reported to be close to BSkyb deal...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Murdochs phone hacks..Cameron the snake..

• Details have been hard to come by about what happened when Rebekah Brooks, leaderene at News International, broke bread around Christmas with James Murdoch, head honcho at News Corp, and David Cameron, head honcho from No 10.

 But it all seemed very cosy.

 The major players who might influence the decision about whether Rupert Murdoch is allowed his much-desired takeover of BSkyB – just hanging out.

 No press, this was private.

 But news will trickle out, and this week's Prospect magazine claims, among the other guests at this power soiree was another member of the west Oxfordshire set, Cameron's friend, the headhunter Dominic Loehnis.

Why is that interesting?

Because one of Loehnis's main tasks since has been to help the government find a new chair for the BBC Trust.

 And one might ask questions about the whole thing, for the enmity runs deep between the BBC and the Murdochs.

 But it's also the case that Chris Patten, the man ultimately expected to get the job, has been an enemy of Murdoch's and is probably the last man with whom the last tycoon would have wanted to do battle. Hope Loehnis enjoyed his time at Rebekah's. He may not be invited back.

• Revolution in Egypt, unrest in Bahrain, and citizens rise up in Libya.

 People have had enough. 'Tis the spirit of our times. "If the downtrodden citizens of Egypt can rise up against an appalling dictator, why cannot we downtrodden citizens of the borough of Barnet rise up against our appalling dictator and get rid of Brian Coleman forthwith?"
 writes resident and would-be revolutionary Larry Ross, in the Barnet Times. "I and thousands of others would be happy to join in any demonstration outside his house." But Larry, don't you know that Brian, the free-spending municipal Tory they all love to hate, would merely make good his escape by taxi – all the way, perhaps, to the Conservative safe haven of Hammersmith and Fulham. You, poor Larry, would foot the bill.

• And so, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let us consider the claims of our man with a past, Lord Archer, as he attempts to enter disaster-struck New Zealand to peddle his new book – despite being technically ineligible because of his criminal record.

 Is he not famous? Is he not, in his own way, fragrant?

 These are, quite properly, matters for review by the immigration authorities. For "all temporary entrants to New Zealand are required to declare any criminal convictions", says immigration head Nigel Bickle, interviewed by the Dominion Post. And "any such convictions are part of our consideration of whether a person meets the character requirements for the granting of a visa". Thus "when Jeffrey Archer applies for a visa, Immigration New Zealand will give consideration to the nature of his convictions relative to the purpose of his visit". And that is as it should be, isn't it, even if it is the case that each of us will be rooting for Jeffrey's attempt to gain a special waiver. For each day he spends abroad is another day he isn't here.

• The same principle surely applies to Conrad Black, who, having ditched his Canadian citizenship to accept a British peerage, is desperate to be a Canadian again, despite his earlier bad-mouthing of political types and intellectuals there. We support that bid, though naturally we will miss him. "Canada's vocation is as the world's great liberal pioneer, to be tough on crime by treating its causes, and reducing the unnecessary and hideously expensive demonisation and segregation of the nonviolent," says Conrad, still on bail from a six-and-a-half-year sentence in a US prison for fraud and obstruction of justice. Let's be tough on crime but nicer to criminals, is his message, channelled via Canada's National Post. Who on earth can he mean?

• Finally, don't we all just love a bargain? Let's away to the auction. "Lot 337: JACKSON, MICHAEL:

 An excellent opportunity to buy approximately 4-6 strands of the King of Pop's hair.

These strands were obtained after an accident involving Michael Jackson's hair catching light during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. Item accompanied by documents relating to its provenance." Starting/reserve price: £350.Everything, everything, has its price.

MURDOCHS parrot 'Martin Brunt' before Brunty repeated himself from Nov 2008. I wonder if the intention was to try and web the shady characters caught in Spain over the week-end as arrests of an organised paedophile gang..nothing to do with paedophiles by the way, but when has the TRUTH held Brunty back from reporting a story.......?????

BRUNTY the parrot...  NOV 2008  TEN MOST WANTED...


Murdoch assisting the McCanns....PR has begun for the 'Book of deceit' small reminders how this farce still continues and the victims in Murdochs/McCanns wake , still suffering, still hoping for news of their lost children..

MURDOCH ' Will pay' for ditching labour...and Cameron has sold him his soul...,news-comment,news-politics,news-of-the-world-phone-hacking-scandal-has-rupert-murdoch-left-it-too-late-bskyb-bid

Monday, February 21, 2011

Murdoch dictatorship in Australia 'Outfoxed' video...

Murdochs SCUM Sun....

1989 On the Wednesday following the disaster, Kelvin MacKenzie, then editor of The Sun, a British tabloid newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, used the front page headline, THE TRUTH, in huge letters. Under that were three smaller headlines:

 'Some fans picked pockets of victims';

 'Some fans urinated on the brave cops';

 'Some fans beat up PC giving kiss of life'.

Murdoch must surely have given the thumbs up to Kelvin MacKennzies 'The Truth' headline after the Hillsborough Football Disaster,

Murdoch back on the Anti-paedophile campaign...Martin Brunt does his bidding.. NO MENTION of this in Spanish News.....

Anti-paedophile campaign

The paper began a controversial campaign to name and shame alleged paedophiles in 2000 following the abduction and murder of Sarah Payne. The paper's decision led to angry mobs terrorising those they suspected of being child sex offenders,[8] which included several cases of mistaken identity, including one instance where a paediatrician had her house vandalised[9] and another where a man was confronted because he had a neck brace similar to one a paedophile was wearing when pictured.[10][11] The campaign was labelled "grossly irresponsible" journalism by the then Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, Tony Butler.[12] The paper also campaigns for the introduction of 'Sarah's Law' to allow public access to the Sex Offenders Register.

Costa del Crime's Most Wanted

Most wanted ... (top l-r) Jamie Dempsey 32, Derek McGraw Ferguson 47, Anthony Fraser, 39, Patrick Pious Hancox, 67, Eriberto Jimenez Melo, 33, (bottom l-r) Jonathon Lejman or Lehman, 29, Darren Kevin O'Flaherty, 36, William Thomas Robert Paterson, 31, Andrew Mark Spooner, 41, and Everadus Wijtvliet, 39

Published: Today

A NOTORIOUS criminal's grandson is among a new list of the ten Most Wanted being hunted by cops.

Anthony Fraser, whose grandad is violent East End gangland enforcer "Mad" Frankie Fraser, is No1 in the rogues' gallery.

The 39-year-old is wanted for smuggling £5million of cannabis hidden in a lorry load of frozen chicken from Holland in 2009.

He is one of the latest ten fugitives believed to be hiding from the British police in the Costa del Sol region of Spain.

Others on the list are men suspected of murder, child sex offences, kidnapping, robbery and drugs offences.

Glaswegian William Paterson, 31, is wanted over the murder of gangster Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll in January last year.

Notorious ... Anthony Fraser's famous grandad 'Mad' FrankieCriminal Carroll, dubbed Scotland's "public enemy number one", was blasted ten times by masked gunmen outside an Asda superstore in Robroyston, near Glasgow.

Darren O'Flaherty, 36, of Liverpool, is wanted after a lorry driver was held at knifepoint while his load of electronics was stolen in North Yorkshire in 2006.

The fugitive is also the prime suspect for the murder of Irishman John O'Neill, who was shot dead in a crowded bar in the Spanish resort of Benalmadena last summer.

Details of all ten men have been posted by Crimestoppers on a "most wanted" website targeting the region.

Several Spanish coastal resorts have been dubbed the "Costa del Crime" since the 1970s because hundreds of wanted British criminals are thought to have fled there.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Spanish police authorities are also involved in the move, codenamed Operation Captura.
Several waves of appeals, first launched in October 2006, have led to the arrest of 38 suspects out of 50 appeals.

Dave Cording, of Crimestoppers, said: "The public is one of the greatest weapons in the fight against crime.

"Once again we are asking the public to help track down most wanted individuals who are sought in connection with some violent, sexual and highly organised crimes.

"We've continually had an overwhelming response to this campaign, resulting in over 500 pieces of useful information on the fugitives sought."

Ken Gallagher, of Soca, said: "Operation Captura is helping make the ex-pat community in Spain an uncomfortable place for fugitives.

"Having the public's attention focussed on these individuals goes a long way to making it harder for them to hide and should act as a warning that Spain is no safe haven for British criminals."

Video: Most Wanted fugitives

EX-GANGSTER 'Mad' Frankie Fraser's grandson Anthony on crime list
Sky News

Anyone with information about those named by Crimestoppers should call 0800 555111 in the UK

Murdoch daughter joins News board

Elisabeth Murdoch will be almost £2m richer when Shine Television is taken over by News Corporation
Elisabeth Murdoch will rank alongside brother James after News Corp completes buy out of her company Shine Television

The MURDOCH in waiting....

Disgusting reporting from the SUN...who claim their reporting has' changed' but it would seem not for three year old Madeleine, still used for her money making qualities.

The Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath

The controversial Hillsborough edition
At the end of the decade, The Sun's coverage of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in Sheffield on 15 April 1989, in which 96 people died as a result of their injuries, proved to be, as the paper later admitted, the "most terrible" blunder in its history.[28]
Under a front page headline "The Truth", the paper claimed that some fans picked the pockets of crushed victims, that others urinated on members of the emergency services as they tried to help and that some even assaulted a Police Constable "whilst he was administering the kiss of life to a patient."[29] Despite the headline, written by Kelvin MacKenzie, the story was based on allegations either by unnamed and unattributable sources, or hearsay accounts of what named individuals had said – a fact made clear to MacKenzie by Harry Arnold, the reporter who wrote the story. Although the disaster occurred before TV cameras and a mass of sports reporters, no evidence was produced to substantiate The Sun's allegations. The front page caused outrage in Liverpool, where the paper lost more than three-quarters of its estimated 55,000 daily sales and still sells poorly more than twenty years later (around 12,000).[30] It is unavailable in many parts of the city, as many news agents refuse to stock it.[31][32] It was revealed in a documentary called "Alexei Sayle's Liverpool", aired in September 2008, that many Liverpudlians will not even take the newspaper for free, and those who do may simply burn or tear it up, even though this was almost 20 years after the incident.[33]

On 7 July 2004, in response to verbal attacks in Liverpool on Wayne Rooney, just before his transfer from Everton to Manchester United, who had sold his life story to The Sun, the paper devoted a full-page editorial to an apology for the "awful error" of its Hillsborough coverage and argued that Rooney (who was still only three years old at the time of Hillsborough) should not be punished for its "past sins".

 In January 2005, The Sun's managing editor Graham Dudman admitting the Hillsborough coverage was "the worst mistake in our history", added: "What we did was a terrible mistake. It was a terrible, insensitive, horrible article, with a dreadful headline; but what we'd also say is: we have apologised for it, and the entire senior team here now is completely different from the team that put the paper out in 1989".[34]

Murdochs The Sun....he dictates how you should think and what you should believe...

The Sun is a daily national tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (where it is known as The Irish Sun) with an average circulation of 2,904,180 copies a day in October 2010, making it the biggest-selling newspaper in the UK. A separate Scottish Sun is published and printed in Glasgow with a circulation of about 339,000 copies daily (September 2010) The total daily readership is approximately 7,700,000.[3] By circulation it is the tenth biggest newspaper in any language in the world,[4] It reaches 2.9 million readers in the ABC1 demographic and 5.0 million in the C2DE demographic, compared to the 1.5 and 0.1 million respectively of its broadsheet stablemate The Times.[3] It is published by News Group Newspapers of News International, itself a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.[3][5]




The Sun was first published as a broadsheet on 15 September 1964[6] – with a logo featuring a glowing orange disc. It was launched by owners IPC (International Press Corporation) to replace the failing Daily Herald. The paper did not live up to IPC's expectations. Circulation continued to decline and it was soon losing even more money than the Herald had done.
In 1969, IPC decided to sell. The tycoon Robert Maxwell, eager to buy a British newspaper, offered to take it off their hands and retain its commitment to the Labour party, but admitted there would be redundancies, especially among the printers. Rupert Murdoch had bought the News of the World, a sensationalist Sunday newspaper, the previous year, but the presses in the basement of his building in London's Bouverie Street sat idle six days a week. Seizing the opportunity to increase his presence on Fleet Street, he made an agreement with the print unions, promising fewer redundancies if he acquired the newspaper. He assured IPC that he would publish a "straightforward, honest newspaper" which would continue to support Labour. IPC, under pressure from the unions, rejected Maxwell's offer, and Murdoch bought the paper for £800,000, to be paid in instalments.[7] He would later remark: "I am constantly amazed at the ease with which I entered British newspapers."[8]
The Daily Herald had been printed in Manchester since 1930 and the relaunched Sun was from 1964 but Murdoch stopped printing in Manchester in 1969 which put the ageing Bouverie Street presses under extreme pressure as circulation grew.

The early Murdoch years

Murdoch appointed Larry Lamb as his first editor. Lamb was scathing in his opinion of the Mirror, where he had recently been employed as a senior sub-editor. He shared Murdoch's view that the measure of a paper's quality was best measured by its sales, and he regarded the Mirror as overstaffed, and primarily aimed at an aging readership. Lamb hastily recruited a staff of about 125 reporters, who were mostly selected for their availability rather than their ability.[9] This was about a quarter of what the Mirror then employed, and Murdoch had to draft in staff on loan from his Australian papers. Murdoch immediately relaunched The Sun as a tabloid, and ran it as a sister paper to the News of the World.[8] The Sun used the same printing presses, and the two papers were now managed together at senior executive levels.
The tabloid Sun first published on 17 November 1969, with a front page headlined "HORSE DOPE SENSATION" - an 'exclusive' in which a racing trainer admitted he was doping his horses.
The paper copied its rival The Daily Mirror in several ways. It was the same size and its masthead had the title in white on a red rectangle of the same colour as the Daily Mirror. The Mirror's "Lively Letters" was matched by "Liveliest Letters", and the comic strip "Garth" by a comic strip "Scarth" featuring a frequently naked woman. Later strips included Striker, set in the world of football; Axa, about a barbarian woman in a post-apocalyptic world; Hagar the Horrible, the comic adventures of a home-loving Viking warrior; and George and Lynne, a domestic gag-a-day strip about a couple and their friends and neighbours. George and Lynne were normally pictured naked but discreetly covered.
Sex was used as an important element in marketing the paper from the start. While the Daily Mirror frequently featured a pin-up photograph of a young woman in bikini or lingerie, ostensibly as a fashion item, The Sun dispensed with the excuses; it featured what were openly glamour photographs of women, wearing fewer clothes than their Mirror counterparts. The appearance of the first topless Page Three girl, German-born Stephanie Rahn, on 17 November 1970, caused little offence. She was presented as a one-off "Birthday Suit Girl" to mark the first anniversary of the relaunched Sun. Controversy was only ignited over the next four years when the topless Page 3 girl gradually became a regular fixture, and with increasingly risqué poses. Both feminists and many cultural conservatives saw the pictures as pornographic and misogynistic. A public library in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, banned the paper because of its "excessive sexual content". The Labour MP Alex Lyon waved a copy of The Sun in the House of Commons and suggested the paper could be prosecuted for indecency. Sexually related features such as "Do Men Still Want To Marry A Virgin?" and "The Way into a Woman's Bed" began to appear. Serialisations of erotic books were frequent; the publication of extracts from The Sensuous Woman, at a time when copies of the book were being seized by Customs, produced a scandal and a gratifying amount of free publicity.[10]
Politically, The Sun in the early Murdoch years, remained nominally Labour. It supported the Labour Party led by Harold Wilson in the 1970 General Election,[11] with the headline "Why It Must Be Labour"[12] but by February 1974 it was calling for a vote for the Conservative Party while suggesting that it might support a Labour Party led by James Callaghan or Roy Jenkins.[11] In the October election an editorial asserted: "ALL our instincts are left rather than right and we would vote for any able politician who would describe himself as a Social Democrat."[11] The editor, Larry Lamb, was originally from a Labour background, with a socialist upbringing while his temporary replacement Bernard Shrimsley (1972-75) was a middle-class uncommitted Conservative. An extensive advertising campaign on the ITV network in this period, voiced by actor Christopher Timothy,[13] may have helped The Sun to overtake the Daily Mirror's circulation in 1978. Despite the industrial relations of the 1970s - the so-called "Spanish practices" of the print unions - The Sun was very profitable, enabling Murdoch to expand his operations to the United States from 1973.
In 1979 the paper endorsed Margaret Thatcher in the year's general election, at the end of a process which had been underway for some time, though The Sun had not initially been enthusiastic for Mrs Thatcher. On 3 May 1979, it ran the unequivocal front page headline, "VOTE TORY THIS TIME".[14]

The 1980s

The Sun's sales grew during the 1980s and the paper became increasingly brash under the editorship of Kelvin MacKenzie. Bingo, introduced in 1981, was a key driver of the circulation rise.
The torpedoing of the Belgrano was celebrated on the front page of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun
The Sun became an ardent supporter of Margaret Thatcher and Conservative Party policies and actions, including the Falklands War. The coverage "captured the zeitgeist", according to Roy Greenslade, Assistant Editor at the time though privately an opponent of the war, but also "xenophobic, bloody-minded, ruthless, often reckless, black-humoured and ultimately triumphalist."[15] One of the paper's best known front pages, published on 4 May 1982, appeared to celebrate the news of the torpedoing of the Argentine ship the General Belgrano during the Falklands War by running the story under the headline "GOTCHA".[16] The headline was changed for later editions when the extent of Argentine casualties became known.[17] Sunday Times reporter John Shirley witnessed copied of this edition of The Sun being thrown overboard by sailors and marines on HMS Fearless.[18]
There were many vitriolic personal attacks on Labour leaders by The Sun during election campaigns, such as in 1983 when The Sun ran a front page featuring an unflattering photograph of Michael Foot, then aged almost 70, claiming he was unfit to be Prime Minister on grounds of his age, appearance and policies, alongside the headline "Do You Really Want This Old Fool To Run Britain?"[19] A year later, in 1984, The Sun made clear its enthusiastic support for the re-election of Ronald Reagan as president in the USA. Reagan was two weeks off his 74th birthday when he started his second term, in January 1985.
On 1 March 1984 the newspaper extensively quoted a respected American psychiatrist claiming that British left-wing politician Tony Benn was "insane", with the psychiatrist discussing various aspects of Benn's supposed pathology.[20] The story, which appeared on the day of the Chesterfield byelection in which Benn was standing, was discredited when the psychiatrist quoted by The Sun publicly denounced the article and described the false quotes attributed to him as "absurd", The Sun having apparently fabricated the entire piece. The newspaper made frequent scathing attacks on what the paper called the "loony left" element within the Labour Party and on institutions supposedly controlled by it, such as the left-wing Greater London Council and Liverpool City Council.
The Sun, during the Miners' strike, of 1984–85 supported the police and the Thatcher government against the striking NUM miners. On 23 May 1984, The Sun prepared a front page with the headline "Mine Führer" and a photograph of Scargill with his arm in the air, a pose which made him look as though he was giving a Nazi salute. The print workers at The Sun, regarding it as an attempt at a cheap smear, refused to print it.[21] The Sun strongly supported the April 1986 bombing of Libya by the US, which was launched from British bases. Several civilians were killed during the bombing. Their leader was "Right Ron, Right Maggie".[22]
In January 1986 Murdoch shut down the Bouverie Street premises of The Sun and News of the World, and moved operations to the new Wapping complex in East London, substituting the electrician's union for the print unions as his production staff's representatives and greatly reducing the number of staff employed to print the papers; a year-long picket by sacked workers was eventually defeated (see Wapping dispute). That year, Clare Short attempted in vain to persuade Parliament to outlaw the pictures on Page Three and gained approbrium from the newspaper for her stand.
During the 1987 general election, the Sun ran an extraordinary mock-editorial entitled "Why I'm Backing Kinnock", by Joseph Stalin.[23]

Other stories in the 1980s

The 13 March 1986 edition of The Sun
Despite its high sales The Sun of the 1980s earned a reputation for running stories based on few facts. The most blatant example gave the paper one of its best remembered on 13 March 1986: "FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER". The story alleged that British comedian Freddie Starr had been staying at the home of Vince McCaffrey and his 23-year old girlfriend Lea La Salle in Birchwood, Cheshire, when, after returning from a performance at a nightclub in the early hours he demanded La Salle make him a sandwich. When she refused, he went into the kitchen, put her pet hamster Supersonic between two slices of bread and proceeded to eat it. Starr, in his 2001 autobiography Unwrapped, said he only stayed at McCaffrey's house once, in 1979, and that the incident was a complete fabrication. He wrote: "I have never eaten or even nibbled a live hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, mouse, shrew, vole or any other small mammal."[24] When the man behind the story, British publicist Max Clifford, was asked about it on television years later, he admitted to making it up and justified the lie as it boosted Starr's career enormously.
According to some accounts, homophobia was rife on the paper during the 1980s and to a lesser degree the 1990s.[citation needed] In 1987, The Sun falsely accused homosexual pop musician Elton John of having sexual relationships with rent boys. In another story it accused him of removing the voice boxes of his guard dogs because their barking kept him awake. Elton sued over both stories and won £1million in libel damages, then the largest payout in British history. The Sun ran a front-page apology on 12 December 1988, under the banner headline "SORRY, ELTON". Gay Church of England clergymen were described in one headline in November 1987 as "Pulpit poofs." Stories frequently speculated on the sexual orientation of famous people, and pop stars in particular.
Television personality Piers Morgan, a former editor of the Daily Mirror and of The Sun’s Bizarre pop column, has said that during the late 1980s, at Kelvin MacKenzie's behest, he was ordered to speculate on the sexuality of male pop stars for a feature headlined "The Poofs of Pop". He also recalls MacKenzie headlining a January 1989 story about the first homosexual kiss on BBC television soap opera EastEnders "EastBenders".[25] describing the kiss between Colin Russell and Guido Smith, as a "a homosexual love scene between yuppie poofs ... when millions of children were watching".[citation needed]
On 17 November 1989, The Sun headlined a page 2 news story titled “STRAIGHT SEX CANNOT GIVE YOU AIDS – OFFICIAL." The Sun favourably cited the opinions of Lord Kilbracken, a member of the All Parliamentary Group on AIDS. Lord Kilbracken said that only one person out of the 2,372 AIDS-infected individuals mentioned in a specific Department of Health report was not a member of a "high risk group", such as homosexuals and recreational drug users. The Sun also ran an editorial further arguing that "At last the truth can be told... the risk of catching AIDS if you are heterosexual is "statistically invisible". In other words impossible. So now we know – everything else is homosexual propaganda." Although many other British press services covered Lord Kilbracken's public comments, none of them made the argument that the Sun did in its editorial and none of them presented Lord Kilbracken's ideas without context or criticism.[26]
Critics stated that both The Sun and Lord Kilbracken cherry picked the results from one specific study while ignoring other data reports on HIV infection and not just AIDS infection, which the critics viewed as unethical politicization of a medical issue. Lord Kilbracken himself criticized The Sun's editorial and the headline of its news story; he stated that while he thought that gays were more at risk of developing AIDS it was still wrong to imply that no one else could catch the disease. The Press Council condemned the Sun for committing what it called a "gross distortion". The Sun later ran an apology, which they ran on Page 28. Journalist David Randall argued in the textbook The Universal Journalist that the Sun's story was one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent history, putting its own readers in harm's way.[26][27]

The Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath

The controversial Hillsborough edition
At the end of the decade, The Sun's coverage of the Hillsborough football stadium disaster in Sheffield on 15 April 1989, in which 96 people died as a result of their injuries, proved to be, as the paper later admitted, the "most terrible" blunder in its history.[28]
Under a front page headline "The Truth", the paper claimed that some fans picked the pockets of crushed victims, that others urinated on members of the emergency services as they tried to help and that some even assaulted a Police Constable "whilst he was administering the kiss of life to a patient."[29] Despite the headline, written by Kelvin MacKenzie, the story was based on allegations either by unnamed and unattributable sources, or hearsay accounts of what named individuals had said – a fact made clear to MacKenzie by Harry Arnold, the reporter who wrote the story. Although the disaster occurred before TV cameras and a mass of sports reporters, no evidence was produced to substantiate The Sun's allegations. The front page caused outrage in Liverpool, where the paper lost more than three-quarters of its estimated 55,000 daily sales and still sells poorly more than twenty years later (around 12,000).[30] It is unavailable in many parts of the city, as many news agents refuse to stock it.[31][32] It was revealed in a documentary called "Alexei Sayle's Liverpool", aired in September 2008, that many Liverpudlians will not even take the newspaper for free, and those who do may simply burn or tear it up, even though this was almost 20 years after the incident.[33]
On 7 July 2004, in response to verbal attacks in Liverpool on Wayne Rooney, just before his transfer from Everton to Manchester United, who had sold his life story to The Sun, the paper devoted a full-page editorial to an apology for the "awful error" of its Hillsborough coverage and argued that Rooney (who was still only three years old at the time of Hillsborough) should not be punished for its "past sins". In January 2005, The Sun's managing editor Graham Dudman admitting the Hillsborough coverage was "the worst mistake in our history", added: "What we did was a terrible mistake. It was a terrible, insensitive, horrible article, with a dreadful headline; but what we'd also say is: we have apologised for it, and the entire senior team here now is completely different from the team that put the paper out in 1989".[34]
However, in May 2006, former editor Kelvin MacKenzie, the man behind the Hillsborough coverage, was rehired as a Sun columnist. Furthermore, on 11 January 2007, MacKenzie went on record as a panellist on BBC1's Question Time as saying the apology he made after the disaster was a hollow one, forced upon him by Rupert Murdoch. MacKenzie further claimed he was not sorry "for telling the truth" but he admitted that he did not know for sure whether some Liverpool fans urinated on the police, or robbed victims. [35]

The 1990s

The Sun remained loyal to Thatcher right up to her resignation in November 1990, despite the party's fall in popularity over the previous year following the introduction of the Community Charge (popularly known as the Poll tax). This change to the way local government is funded was vociferously supported by the newspaper, despite widespread opposition, (some from Conservative MPs), which is seen as having contributed to Thatcher's own downfall. The tax was quickly repealed by her successor John Major, who The Sun initially supported enthusiastically, believing he was a radical Thatcherite - despite the economy having entered recession at this time. The Sun labelled those attending public protests opposing the tax as "thugs".[36]
On the day of the general election of 9 April 1992, its front-page headline, encapsulating its antipathy towards the Labour leader Neil Kinnock, read "If Kinnock wins today, will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights". Two days later The Sun was so convinced its front page had swung a close election for the Conservatives it declared "It's The Sun Wot Won It".
The Sun led with a headline "Now we've all been screwed by the cabinet" with a reference to Black Wednesday on 17 September 1992, as well as the recent revalations about MP David Mellor being involved in a sex scandal.[37] A month later, on 14 October, it attacked Michael Heseltine for the mass coal mine closures.
Despite its initial opposition to the mass coal mine closures, until 1997, the newspaper repeatedly called the implementation of further right-wing, Thatcherite policies, such as Royal Mail privatisation,[38] social security cutbacks, with leaders such as "Peter Lilley is right, we can't carry on like this",[39] and hostility to the EU, public spending cuts and tax cuts, and promotion of right-wing ministers to the cabinet, with leaders such as "More of the Redwood, not Deadwood".[40] The Sun attacked Labour leader John Smith in February 1994, for saying that more UK troops should be sent to Bosnia. The Sun's comment was that "The only serious radicals in British politics these days are the likes of Redwood, Lilley and Portillo".[41] It also gradually expressed its bitter disillusionment with John Major as Prime Minister, with leaders such as "What fools we were to back John Major".[42]
Between 1994 and 1996, The Sun's circulation peaked. Its highest average sale was in the week ending 16 July 1994, when the daily figure was 4,305,957. The highest ever one-day sale was on 18 November 1995 (4,889,118), although the cover price had been cut to 10p. The highest ever one-day sale at full price was on 30 March 1996 (4,783,359).[43]
The Sun supported John Redwood in the 1995 Conservative leadership election, but whilst backing Redwood and expressing admiration for him, The Sun urged both Major and Redwood to stand down, so Michael Heseltine and Michael Portillo, then the candidate of the Tory right, whom The Sun consistently and lavishly praised between 1992 and 1995, could contest the leadership of the party. The Sun would have almost certainly backed Portillo.
On 22 January 1997, The Sun accused the then shadow chancellor Gordon Brown of stealing the Conservatives ideas by declaring, "If all he is offering is Conservative financial restraint, why not vote for the real thing?",[44] and called the then planned windfall tax, which was later imposed by the Labour government as "wrongheaded".[45] In February 1997 it told Sir Edward Heath (still an MP) to stand down for supporting a National Minimum wage.[46]

Support for 'New Labour'

The Sun switched support to Labour on 18 March 1997, six weeks before the General Election victory which saw Labour leader Tony Blair become Prime Minister with a large parliamentary majority, despite the paper having attacked Blair and New Labour up to a month earlier. Its front page headline read THE SUN BACKS BLAIR and its front page editorial made clear that while it still opposed some New Labour policies, such as the Minimum Wage and Devolution, it believed Blair to be "the breath of fresh air this great country needs."[47] John Major's Conservatives, it said, were "tired, divided and rudderless".[47] Blair, who had radically altered his party's image and policies, noting the influence the paper could have over its readers' political thinking, had courted it (and Murdoch) for some time by granting exclusive interviews and writing columns.
In exchange for Rupert Murdoch's support, Blair agreed not to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism - which John Major had withdrawn the country from in September 1992 after barely two years.[48] Cabinet Minister Peter Mandelson was "outed" by Matthew Parris (a gay former Sun columnist) on BBC TV's Newsnight in November 1998. Misjudging public response, The Sun's editor David Yelland demanded to know in a front page editorial whether Britain was governed by a "gay mafia" of a "closed world of men with a mutual self-interest". Three days later the paper apologised in another editorial which said The Sun would never again reveal a person's sexuality unless it could be defended on the grounds of "overwhelming public interest".
In 2003 the paper was accused of racism by the Government over its criticisms of what it perceived as the "open door" policy on immigration. The attacks came from the Prime Minister's press spokesman Alastair Campbell and the Home Secretary David Blunkett (later a Sun columnist). The paper rebutted the claim, believing that it was not racist to suggest that a "tide" of unchecked illegal immigrants was increasing the risk of terrorist attacks and infectious diseases. It did not help its argument by publishing a front page story on 4 July 2003, under the headline "Swan Bake", which claimed that asylum seekers were slaughtering and eating swans. It later proved to have no basis in fact. Subsequently The Sun published a follow-up headlined "Now they're after our fish!". Following a Press Complaints Commission adjudication a "clarification" was eventually printed, on page 41.[49]
Despite being a persistent critic of some of the government's policies, the paper supported Labour in both subsequent elections the party won. In 2001. It was argued that The Sun backed New Labour at the 1997 General Election because it knew that the Conservatives had no chance of winning (opinion polls had shown a wide Labour lead since late 1992), and if it had urged its readers to vote Conservative, afterwards it would have been seen as having backed a loser. For the 2005 general election, The Sun backed Blair and Labour for a third consecutive election win and vowed to give him "one last chance" to fulfill his promises, despite berating him for several weaknesses including a failure to control immigration. However, it did speak of his hope that the Tories (led by Michael Howard) would one day be fit for a return to government.[19] This election (Blair had declared it would be his last as prime minister) resulted Labour's third successive win, but with a much reduced majority.[50]
The Sun's coverage of the UK's military interventions has been supportive and the "War on Terror" more generally. On 18 December 2008, an editorial piece "The Sun Says" titled "Job well done" declared "Britain is leaving Iraq with its head held very high" as well as "Through the commitment of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown to Iraq, we have shown that Britain DOES still have a major role to play in the world."[51]

Production and other editorial issues in the 2000s

Although the anger generated by Page 3 had waned in a generally more permissive society, when Rebekah Wade (now Brooks) became editor in 2003, it was thought it might be dropped. Wade had tried to persuade David Yelland, her immediate predecessors in the job, to scrap the feature, but a model who shared her first name was used on her first day in the post. It still has opposition though, as recently as 2005 a college in Lewisham, South-East London, banned The Sun from the campus because it felt its Page 3 pictures were degrading to women.[52]
On 22 September 2003 the newspaper appeared to misjudge the public mood surrounding mental health, as well as its affection for former world heavyweight champion boxer Frank Bruno, who had been admitted to hospital, when the headline "Bonkers Bruno Locked Up" appeared on the front page of early editions. The adverse reaction once the paper hit the streets on the evening of 21 September, led to the headline being changed for the paper's second edition to the more sympathetic "Sad Bruno In Mental Home".[53]
The Sun has been openly antagonistic towards other European nations, particularly the French and Germans. During the 1980s and 1990s, the nationalities were routinely described in copy and headlines as "frogs", "krauts" or "hun". As the paper is opposed to the EU it has referred to foreign leaders who it deemed hostile to the UK in unflattering terms. Former President Jacques Chirac of France, for instance, was branded "le Worm". An unflattering picture of German chancellor Angela Merkel, taken from the rear, bore the headline "I'm Big in the Bumdestag" (17 April 2006).
Although The Sun was outspoken against the allegations of racism directed at Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty on television reality show Celebrity Big Brother during 2007, the paper captioned a picture on its website, from a Bollywood-themed pop video by Hilary Duff, "Hilary PoppaDuff",[54] a very similar insult to that directed at Shetty.
On 7 January 2009, The Sun ran an exclusive front page story claiming that participants in a discussion on, a British Muslim internet forum, had made a "hate hit list" of British Jews to be targeted by extremists over the Gaza War. It was claimed that "Those listed [on the forum] should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs." The UK magazine Private Eye claimed that Glen Jenvey, a man quoted by The Sun as a terrorism expert, posted to the forum under the pseudonym "Abuislam", and was the only forum member promoting a hate campaign, while other members promoted peaceful advocacy such as writing 'polite letters'. The story has since been removed from The Sun's website following complaints to the UK's Press Complaints Commission.[55]
On 9 December 2010, The Sun published a front-page story claiming that terrorist group Al-Qaeda had threatened a terrorist attack on Granada Television in Manchester to disrupt the episode of soap opera Coronation Street to be transmitted live that evening. The paper cited unnamed sources, claiming "cops are throwing a ring of steel around tonight's live episode of Coronation Street over fears it has been targeted by Al-Qaeda."[56] Later that morning, however, Greater Manchester Police categorically denied having "been made aware of any threat from Al-Qaeda or any other proscribed organisation."[57] The Sun published a small correction on 28 December, admitting "that while cast and crew were subject to full body searches, there was no specific threat from Al-Qaeda as we reported."[58] The apology had been negotiated by the Press Complaints Commission.[59]
In May 2008 the Wapping presses rolled for the last time and London printing was transferred to Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, on the outskirts of London, where News International had built what is claimed to be the largest printing centre in Europe with 12 presses. Broxbourne also produces the News of the World, Times and Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Wall Street Journal Europe (also now a Murdoch newspaper) and local papers. Northern printing had earlier been switched to a new plant at Knowsley on Merseyside and the Scottish Sun to another new plant at Motherwell near Glasgow. The three print centres represent a £600 million investment by NI and allowed all the titles to be produced with every page in full colour from 2008.

2009: The Sun returns to the Conservatives

Politically, the paper's stance was less clear under Prime Minister Gordon Brown who had succeeded Blair in June 2007. Its editorials were critical of many of Brown's policies and often more supportive of those of Conservative leader David Cameron. Rupert Murdoch, head of The Sun's parent company News Corporation, speaking at a 2007 meeting with the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications, which was investigating media ownership and the news, said that he acts as a "traditional proprietor". This means he exercises editorial control on major issues such as which political party to back in a general election or which policy to adopt on Europe.[60]
With 'Broken Britain' controversies on issues like crime, immigration and public service failures in the news, on 30 September 2009, following Brown's speech at the Labour Party Conference, The Sun, under the banner "Labour's Lost It" announced that it no longer supported the Labour Party.[61] "The Sun believes – and prays – that the Conservative leadership can put the great back into Great Britain", though the Scottish Sun was more equivocal in its editorial.[62][63]
That day at the Labour Party Conference, Union Leader Tony Woodley responded by ripping up a copy of The Sun remarking as he did so in reference to the newspaper's Hillsborough Disaster controversy: "In Liverpool we learnt a long time ago what to do".[64] The magazine Private Eye noted that the switch came shortly after a number of Conservative announcements that echoed James Murdoch's anti-BBC stance that had been the core of his MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the 2009 Edinburgh International Television Festival.[citation needed] One attack on Gordon Brown backfired at around this time. After criticising him for mis-spelling a dead soldier's mother's name,[65] The Sun was then forced to apologise for mis-spelling the same name on their website.[66]
The Scottish Sun did not back either Labour or the Conservatives, with its editorial stating it was "yet to be convinced" by the Conservative opposition, and editor David Dinsmore asking in an interview "what is David Cameron going to do for Scotland?".[67][68] Dinsmore also stated that the paper supported the Union, and was unlikely to back the Scottish National Party.
During the campaign for the United Kingdom general election, 2010 The Independent ran ads declaring that "Rupert Murdoch won't decide this election – you will." In response James Murdoch and Rebekah Wade "appeared unannounced and uninvited on the editorial floor" of the Independent, and had an energetic conversation with its editor Simon Kelner.[69] Several days later the Independent reported The Sun's failure to report its own YouGov poll result which said that "if people thought Mr Clegg's party had a significant chance of winning the election" the Liberal Democrats would win 49% of the vote, and with it a landslide majority.[70]
On election day (6 May 2010), The Sun urged its readers to vote for David Cameron's "modern and positive" Conservatives in order to save Britain from "disaster" which the paper thought the country would face if the Labour government was re-elected.[71] The election ended in the first hung parliament for 34 years, with the Tories having the most seats and votes but being 20 seats short of an overall majority. They finally came to power on 11 May when Gordon Brown stepped down as prime minister, paving the way for David Cameron to become prime minister by forming a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.[72]


The Sun relies heavily on stories and occasionally scandals involving celebrities and the entertainment industry, contained in its general news pages as well as in sections such as Bizarre (pop music stories and gossip) and TV Biz (television stories, concentrating on soaps and reality TV).
An award-winning section titled Something for the Weekend,[73] published each Friday, covers a wide variety of other contemporary music and arts not normally found in the main part of the paper. Coverage of the British monarchy is regular or even daily, albeit without the dominance it had in the paper in the 1980s and 1990s during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Sun has a large sports section, placed at the back of the paper and with football as its mainstay, though personal stories about prominent sportsmen and women will often be found in the news pages.
Politics is always found on Page 2 but can be elsewhere in the news pages. World news is distributed throughout the news pages, rather than in a self-contained section. Other themes high on The Sun's news agenda are child sex abuse and security lapses. NHS scandals are frequently covered, though the paper also has a Health section which covers general health issues and treatments.
Also, several comic strips appear in The Sun, including one parody of political events, and a Wallace and Gromit strip.


The Sun has been a regular winner at the British Press Awards.[74] For example since 2000 it has received the following awards:[75]


The Band Aid 20 charity pop single, which raised around £3million for Africa after its release in 2004, was the idea of Sun executive Dominic Mohan, who persuaded Bob Geldof K.B.E. to become involved.[citation needed] The paper gave the recording and release of the record blanket coverage in a campaign that won the paper a British Press Award in 2005.[citation needed] The single was a re-recording of Band Aid's 1984 original "Do They Know It's Christmas" and featured, among others, Bono, Sir Paul McCartney and members of Radiohead and Coldplay.
The Help for Heroes charity, championed by The Sun, raised £7million in the eight months to June 2008 for injured British servicemen and women – a record for a start-up British charity.[77] The campaign won two British Press Awards in 2008.
The Sun's long-running Free Books For Schools promotion and campaign, in which readers collected tokens from the paper to be exchanged for school books, put 3.5million books worth nearly £20million into the 98 per cent of UK schools which registered for the scheme. The achievement won The Sun a Business In The Community award.[78]
Two books written and produced by The Sun were endorsed by the Government for use in schools. Hold Ye Front Page, which told 2,000 years of world history in spoof Sun pages, sold almost 100,000 copies. The then Education Secretary David Blunkett, later a Sun columnist, recommended every school should have one as an "ideal" aid for teaching history.[79] Giant Leaps, a science version along similar lines and jointly produced with the Science Museum (London) in 2006, was endorsed by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair, who read passages from it during a speech at Oxford University,[80] and by Education Secretary Alan Johnson, who hailed it as a breakthrough for science teachers.[81] The book was a finalist in 2007 for the Royal Society Prizes for Science Books General Prize.[82]


Some previous front page headlines include:[83]
  • CRISIS, WHAT CRISIS? (11 January 1979) – Reporting the attitude of a seemingly oblivious Prime Minister Jim Callaghan as he returned from a summit in the middle of the so-called "Winter of Discontent"
  • STICK IT UP YOUR JUNTA (20 April 1982) – Reporting Margaret Thatcher's rejection of a peace move by Argentina during the Falklands War
  • OUTCHA (23 June 1986) – play on the "GOTCHA" headline from four years earlier, referring to Argentina's "revenge" on Britain for the Falklands War in form of their victory over the England football team in the World Cup quarter finals in which Diego Maradona scored with a handball
  • UP YOURS DELORS (1 November 1990) – A message to French EU commissioner Jacques Delors, who was promoting the Euro (€)[84]
  • FREDDIES DEAD (24 November 1991) - Death of Queen's lead singer and frontman Freddie Mercury. A day after publicly announcing his illness, he died from AIDS less than 24 hours later.
  • IT'S PADDY PANTSDOWN (6 February 1992) – Mocking Paddy Ashdown, leader of the Liberal-Democrat party, as he admits a five-month affair with a secretary[85]
  • I'M ONLY HERE FOR DE BEERS (8 November 2000) – Jewel thieves attempt to steal a De Beers diamond at the Millennium Dome, a tourist attraction in South-East London
  • SLING YOUR HOOK (21 January 2003) – About the hook-handed Islamic preacher Abu Hamza, a regular Sun hate figure, later jailed for inciting terrorism[86]
  • HARRY THE NAZI (13 January 2005) – Scandal of Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party[87]
  • HOW DO YOU SOLVE A PROBLEM LIKE KOREA? (10 October 2006) – A play on the lyrics "How do you solve a problem like Maria" from the song "Maria". Released as North Korea tested a nuclear weapon[88]
  • PORNOCCHIO (19 March 2008) – A reference to the "glamour modelling" past of Sir Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills as the judge in their divorce case called her a liar.[89]
  • SCUMBAG MILLIONAIRES (11 February 2009) – On bank bosses. A pun on Slumdog Millionaire[90]
  • TONGUE SNOG MILLIONAIRE (24 April 2009) – On Slumdog Millionaire actors Dev Patel and Frieda Pinto dating in real life[91]
  • PHWOAR IS OVER (13 May 2009) – Ministry of Defence officials ban British troops from viewing images of topless women on the Sun's "Page 3" website[92]
  • OBAMA LAMA DING DONG (19 February 2010) – Coverage of Barack Obama meeting the Dalai Lama[93]
  • WHAM BAM! SAM CAM TO BE MAM (SHE'LL NEED A NEW PRAM) (23 March 2010) - The Sun reacts to the news that Conservative Party leader David Cameron's wife Samantha Cameron is pregnant[citation needed]

Photo manipulation

The Sun has used photo manipulation to alter the composition of news photos. In a July 2008 front-page image of Prince William on a small boat, a person that otherwise had a prominent position on the image was removed outright by editing, altering the photo. The online version of The Sun and another newspaper, The Metro, displayed the unaltered photo.[94]


Other versions

The Scottish Sun

There is also a Scottish edition of The Sun launched in 1987, known as The Scottish Sun. Based in Glasgow, the paper sells for 30p. The Scottish Sun is often referred to as "a downmarket, English-based tabloid" by the Daily Record. It duplicates much of the content of the England and Wales edition but with additional coverage of Scottish news and sport.
In the early 1990s, the Scottish edition became notable as the first major newspaper to declare support for the pro-independence Scottish National Party. At the time the paper elsewhere continued to support the Conservatives, who were then becoming an increasingly marginalised force in Scotland. This stance, however, became somewhat problematic following The Sun's adoption of support for Labour elsewhere in the UK, given that the SNP were seen as Labour's main challengers and fiercest rivals in Scotland. The Scottish edition was forced to employ some convoluted logic to justify its eventual withdrawal of support for the SNP in favour of pro-union Labour.
However, the Scottish Sun had performed a major U-turn by the time of the 2007 Scottish election, in which its front page featured a hangman's noose in the shape of an SNP logo, stating "Vote SNP today and you put Scotland's head in the noose".[95]
In football the newspaper got banned from Heart of Midlothian's football ground Tynecastle for stirring up issues at the Edinburgh club involving their owner Vladimir Romanov. Two years later they were stirring up life for the Edinburgh outfit again as they made a back page report that manager Csaba Laszlo was on the verge of leaving the club after a meeting with the owner Vladimir Romanov over transfer fees for the following season. It turned out that the pair didn't even meet until the day after The Sun made this false report.
As of May 2010, daily circulation is approximately 340,000.[96]

The Irish Sun

There is also an Irish edition, based in Dublin with a regional edition for Northern Ireland, known as the Irish Sun. It shares some content – namely glamour and showbiz – with the UK edition, but has mainly Irish news and editorial content, as well as sport and advertising. It often views stories in a very different light to those being reported in the UK edition. One notable example is how the release of the film The Wind That Shakes the Barley was covered, with the UK editions describing it as "designed to drag the reputation of our nation through the mud" and "the most pro-IRA ever",[97] whereas the Irish edition described it as giving "the Brits a tanning".[98] It uses a slightly bigger sheet size than the UK version, and costs €1.

Polish edition

In June 2008, The Sun became the first national newspaper to produce a Polish language version[99] (Polski Sun). Six editions were produced for Poland's group matches in the Euro 2008 football tournament.

Earlier and other newspapers with 'Sun' in the title

  • The first newspaper to carry The Sun masthead was published (by John Heriot) in 1792 by the Pitt government to counter the pro-revolutionary press at that time. Publication ceased in 1806
  • The first modern use of the word Sun as a UK newspaper title was the Student Newspaper of The Birmingham College of Advanced Technology (which became Aston University in 1966). The Birmingham Sun – SUN stood for Student Union Newspaper and was founded in 1951
  • The Sun has also been adopted in Nigeria as "The Sun" or the "Daily Sun", With the page-3 girl dubbed "The Sun Girl". The Nigerian counterpart shares the same iconic red and white masthead with the British paper
  • In South Africa, two newspapers take their inspiration from The Sun, including the name. The Daily Sun (Johannesburg) is the country's biggest selling daily newspaper, and by far the most sensationalist. Die Kaapse Son (Cape Town) started out as a weekly newspaper, but became so successful that it eventually became a daily. Two regional (weekly) editions, respectively in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein, were less successful, and have folded

See also


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  5. ^ "The Times Facts and figures". Newspaper Marketing Agency. 
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  7. ^ Greenslade, Ch. 9
  8. ^ a b Chippindale and Horrie, Ch 1
  9. ^ Chippindale and Horrie Ch. 1
  10. ^ Chippindale and Horrie
  11. ^ a b c James Thomas Popular Newspapers, the Labour Party and British Politics, Abingdon (UK): Routledge, 2005, p.72, 73, 73
  12. ^ The Sun, 17 June 1970, cited by Roy Greenslade Press Gang: How Newwspapers Make Money From Propaganda, London: Pan Macmillan, 2003 [2004], p.235
  13. ^ Léon Hunt British Low Culture: From Safari Suits to Sexploitation, London: Routledge, 1998, p.27
  14. ^ Obituary: Larry Lamb, The Daily Telegraph, 20 May 2000
  15. ^ Roy Greenslade "A new Britain, a new kind of newspaper", The Guardian, 25 February 2002
  16. ^ Richmond, Shane (2008). "How SEO is changing journalism". British Journalism Review 19 (4). Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  17. ^ Chippindale & Horrie, Ch7
  18. ^ Roy Greenslade Press Gang, London: Pan Macmillan, 2003 [2004], p.445
  19. ^ a b Sun still shines for Blair", BBC News, 8 March 2001;
  20. ^ "Benn on the couch", The Sun, 1 March 1984
  21. ^ Greg Philo War and Peace News, Open University Press, 1985, p.138.
  22. ^ The Sun – 16 April 1986.
  23. ^ "1987: Three on the trot for Thatcher", BBC News Vote 2001. Retrieved on 4 May 2007.
  24. ^ Starr, Freddie (2001). Unwrapped. UK: Virgin Books. p. 300. ISBN 1852279613. 
  25. ^ Morgan, Piers (17 September 2005). "No stereotypes were harmed in the making of this film". Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  26. ^ a b Getting the message: news, truth and power. Glasgow Media Group. 1993. pp. 210–249. ISBN 9780415079846. [dead link]
  27. ^ Randall, David (2000). The universal journalist. Pluto Press. pp. 135. ISBN 9780745316413. 
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  29. ^ The Sun, 19 April 1989
  30. ^ Brook, Stephen (31 May 2005). "Sun's cup coverage doubles sales in Liverpool". Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
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  32. ^ Wilmore, James (14 August 2008). "Controversy erupts over Carlsberg promotion". the Publican. Retrieved 15 October 2010. "Many fans still refuse to buy The Sun because of its highly controversial coverage of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster" 
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  36. ^ "A History of The Scum (S*n 'newspaper')" Kirby Times News, 2004. Retrieved on 4 May 2007.
  37. ^ The Sun newspaper – 17 September 1992
  38. ^ The Sun – 3 November 1994
  39. ^ The Sun – July 1993
  40. ^ The Sun – 1994
  41. ^ The Sun – February 1994
  42. ^ The Sun – 14 January 1994
  43. ^ News International Circulation Reports Archive
  44. ^ The Sun, 22 January 1997
  45. ^ The Sun, 15 February 1997
  46. ^ The Sun, 26 February 1997
  47. ^ a b From The Sun archive, edition 18 March 1997
  48. ^ "A Very Special Relationship". BBC Radio 4. 5 February 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  49. ^ "Sun accused of Swan Bake 'myth-making' – Press Gazette". Press Gazette. 19 December 2003. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
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Further reading

  • Peter Chippindale & Chris Horrie Stick It Up Your Punter! The rise and fall of The Sun, 1990, Heinemann; 1999, Pocket Books
  • Roy Greenslade Press Gang, 2003, Macmillan

External links