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Prince Harry was caught in nude photos partying in Las Vegas recently. In some of the photos the Prince is fully nude with other nude women behind him! The rest of the Royal family has declined to comment.
In doing so his PR team reminded media outlets in the UK that the pictures were taken in a hotel suite where the prince would have had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
This was a sharp move, given that every editor in this land would know that Clause 3 of the Press Complaints Commission Editor`s Code of Practice states: "It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent." To publish in a UK tabloid then would be a clear breach.
But the newspapers have been left impotent by this move. They have again been scooped by the digital media. This is a dangerous precedent and in my view tantamount to returning to the good old, bad old days of royal reporting when in 1936 American and European newspapers freely reported on the affair of King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson while an establishment deal meant nothing was reported in the British newspapers.
Censorship of that royal story helped create the hysteria around the abdication crisis, polarizing opinion and may even have led to an atmosphere where the king felt he was forced to choose between love and duty.
More importantly, surely -- like then -- the British paying public has a right to know what their royal family is up to.
But post-Leveson -- the inquiry established in the aftermath of the News International phone-hacking scandal first revealed after both Princes William and Harry`s phones were targeted -- no editor seemed, initially at least, is prepared to risk the backlash.
Amid all the media navel-gazing there seems to be a genuine fear that the press feels it is no longer drinking in "The Last Chance Saloon" but time has already been called.
But this latest naked Harry scandal is a watershed moment -- a moment when it is fair to ask: "Who is wagging the dog?" When I was a reporter on the tabloid Sun newspaper in 1991 old photos were circulated of Prince Andrew naked. Like Harry he was a playboy prince, dubbed "Randy Andy" by the tabloids.
The then-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie bought the pictures and simply ran them across a double page inside spread (with a crown jewel sticker to spare the prince`s blushes) and waited for the reaction. The reaction was MPs huffed and puffed their outrage in parliament and sales of the newspaper went up.
I understand as we go to publication that Fleet Street (as the national UK national newspapers are still collectively referred to) has woken up to the story. Picture desks were today busy negotiating for the pictures and new snaps in circulation. Even if they do publish it is clear that the online media is calling the shots -- forcing the papers to react when in the past it was always the newspapers that led.
In these times with newspaper sales figure nose-diving it is critical for them to decide are they leaders or followers. Restricted by their own rules it leaves them exposed, giving the impression that they are slow to react.
Source link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bapq1wxUU9Q