The Sun reveals naked Harry photos
Fri, 24 Aug 2012 8:12a.m.
By Jill Lawless and 3 News online staff
The Sun tabloid has defied a request by St James’ Palace not to publish naked photos of Prince Harry, running a full-length image on its front page.
The country's scandal-loving tabloids have devoted many pages to the story of Prince Harry's naked romp in a Las Vegas hotel suite. But all except The Sun heeded a warning from royal officials that printing the images, already seen by millions on the Internet, would infringe on the prince's privacy.
The Sun’s managing editor David Dinsmore said the newspaper’s editorial team thought “long and hard” about whether to print the pictures, saying it came down to press freedom.
“This is about the ludicrous situation where a picture can be seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world on the internet, but can’t be seen in the nation’s favourite paper read by 8 million people every day,” said Mr Dinsmore.
In an earlier edition, The Sun came up with the most creative solution, getting a staff member named Harry and a 21-year-old female intern to recreate the naked pose under the headline "Harry grabs the crown jewels."
Other British newspapers made do with pictures of holiday Harry in bathing trunks and fedora hat.
Bob Satchwell, head of industry group the Society of Editors, said papers were merely complying with editors' voluntary Code of Practice, which declares "it is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent."
But other media-watchers said a scandal that erupted a year ago over phone-hacking and other tabloid wrongdoing had tamed Britain's once-rambunctious press.
Newspapers were exposed to a trial of public opinion as Judge Brian Leveson's media ethics inquiry heard from celebrities, politicians and crime victims who said their lives had been turned upside down by press intrusion.
The scandal has killed one tabloid, the News of the World - shut down by owner Rupert Murdoch after revelations about its illegal eavesdropping - and tarnished the entire British media.
With the inquiry considering whether to impose stricter limits on press freedom, many feel the tabloids are staying away from kiss-and-tells and celebrity scoops that they once would have relished.
Neil Wallis, a former News of the World executive editor, said fallout from the hacking scandal had left newspapers "terrified of their own shadow."
"In this post-Leveson era ... they daren't do things that most of the country, if they saw it in the newspaper, would think `that's a bit of a laugh,'" Wallis told the BBC.
While newspapers including The Sun and the Daily Mirror proclaimed that the naked photos had been "banned," that is not strictly true.
Several media organisations around the world ran the two naked photos of the prince, which are being sold, according to British media reports, for about 10,000 pounds (US$16,000).
British outlets refrained, after receiving a warning Wednesday from palace officials.
Prince Harry's office confirmed it had contacted the Press Complaints Commission, an industry watchdog, which in turn advised newspapers not to publish the pictures.
Any paper that ran them risks being chastised by the commission, which can demand a newspaper publish an apology, but has no power to issue fines.
They could also potentially be open to an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit from the prince.
A letter to the watchdog from royal law firm Harbottle and Lewis warned that royal officials "entirely reserve their rights as to any future steps that they may take should publication take place."
Once, editors might have risked it, arguing that publishing the images was in the public interest because Harry is a public - and publicly funded - figure.
Satchwell acknowledged there was a risk Leveson's inquiry could chill press freedom. But he said newspapers were simply behaving responsibly over Harry.
"Of course freedom of the press is vitally, vitally important," he said. "But just because you can publish something doesn't mean that you should."
AP / 3 News
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31/08/2012 2:40:33 a.m.
Freddie Itaza wrote:
Why does St. James Palace want to silence the press?
31/08/2012 2:40:32 a.m.
27/08/2012 5:25:23 a.m.
How can the British Crown in 2012, prohibit a young prince to act as they see fit?
25/08/2012 10:37:55 a.m.
S Wilson wrote:
profit making sensational headlines as usual from the sun no justification
have complained to the press council
24/08/2012 10:45:55 p.m.
angela mumford wrote:
what a lot of hypocritical prudes.... pass me my fifty shades of grey while I gawk at a nude Prince and express disgust at his behaviour... surely anyone is entitled to do anything behind closed doors without some slut taking photos and endeavouring to blackmail you..
24/08/2012 7:42:51 p.m.
S Sorensen wrote:
I'd like to see photos and the name of the jerk who took the pics of Harry and sold them. Where are the headlines of "He Who Cannot be Trusted?" Everyone, no matter what their public role, deserves some privacy - especially within one's own hotel room! To be perfect 24/7 would be inhuman. How refreshing to learn Harry is normal.
A tough lesson for this lad, in that, no one can be trusted. How sad. Just another example of how man kind's greed for money seems more important than anything else in today's society.
I can't believe how rampant this non story has become. Is there nothing else, good or bad, in this world to report on?
As for those thinking a military officer shouldn't behave this way, they live in a make believe world. I live in a port town, and whenever the occasional aircraft carrier from a neighbouring country drops anchor, a lot of "partying" happens on shore.
One wonders if all of those criticizing Harry's behavior are 100% nun-like when in the privacy of their own walls?
24/08/2012 7:38:01 p.m.
I have complained to the PCC under grounds 3i) 3iii) & 10 and because publication is not in the public interest because the Sun is (according to a former editor) using it to retaliate for and test Leveson, Princess Diana was hounded to her death by photographers, and there may be a case to answer under the Treason Act 1702.
24/08/2012 7:19:51 p.m.
alison mcallister wrote:
let that poor man aloan , dont you think his life i hard enough . he is a young man that works very hard if he cwant to let his hair down and enjoy him self then let him . who ever took them picks hope you rot in hell
24/08/2012 10:46:35 a.m.
Good old Sun - never let morals get in the way of selling newspapers.
24/08/2012 10:34:06 a.m.
Lynn Cee wrote:
The Internet is a true a leveler, .i.e. "democtratizer," even for Great Britain, alas. Prince Harry represents the Crown on occasion, he's also in the military, and his personal team are paid by the British taxpayer to watch him like a baby or a troublesome, not-too-bright child, around the clock. This latest episode is just part of a series of gross lapses in judgement on Price Harry's part. The 28-year-old third in line to the British throne is now a universal laughing stock.
Prince Charles can chide and threaten the press all he wants — denial, anyone? — but we live in digital times and the royal princes must come up to speed in the full realization of that fact. The Internet doesn't make exceptions for unprincely behavior.
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