Yesterday The Sun newspaper decided to print 22 million copies and have one delivered to every household in England, free of charge. With the exception of Liverpool where there are widespread boycotts, following on from claims it made in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
This was partly as a stunt tied into the World Cup, which started yesterday, and The Sun’s backing on the England football team. Even though nobody expects them to do well – odds seem to be about 28/1 according to Paddy Power. I’m pretty ambivalent when it comes to the World Cup and don’t plan to watch any games, unless England pull off some unlikely performances and get into the quarter finals.
We didn’t receive our complimentary copy though. Which is perhaps a shame as some have been suggesting that people return unwanted copies to News International using their freepost address, like a friend of mine did. This was a tactic that people followed with UKIP’s election flyers last month, until the freepost address was closed.
Perhaps because of this stunt, this post of mine from 10 years ago received some hits. I mostly still stand by the points made all of those years ago. But I would add that I’m also a supporter of No More Page 3 which campaigns to get rid of the topless photos of women on the third page of the newspaper. It’s not that I’m a prude or necessarily against nudity. It’s because it’s sexist (they only display women and not men), it objectifies women and isn’t representative of all of the different body types out there. The No More Page 3 FAQ explains more about their views and why they’re important.
Interestingly there wasn’t a topless photo on page three in yesterday’s free edition. Or so I’ve heard since I never received my copy, and wouldn’t read it even if I did get one.
The Sun, as mentioned, is a News International title and is therefore under the auspices of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire. It’s also a sister title of the now defunct Sunday paper the News of the World, which shut down following allegations that journalists had hacked the voicemails of celebrities, members of the royal families and murdered schoolgirls. A judgement in the trial is imminent, five years after the allegations first surfaced.
For those interested, the photo featured in this post is of The Sun – the celestial object in our solar system rather than the newspaper, which is located at the York end of the York-Selby cycle track. The other planets, and Pluto, are located along the track as you head southwards from York to Selby.