Monday, 26 January 2009

Sun editor calls for united front by British press

Sun editor Rebekah Wade called tonight for the British press to "stop beating itself up" and put up a united front on such issues as combating a privacy law and sticking up for self-regulation.
Wade, giving the annual Hugh Cudlipp Lecture at the London College of Communications, claimed the British press was divided over issues such as the way privacy law was being made in a "drip, drip" fashion in the courts on individual stories, like the News of the World's Max Mosley expose.
She said the press's "self-flagellation" had reached a high point when the Guardian gave pages of coverage to Mosley's views on privacy. Wade also accused the Guardian of giving The Sun's campaign over the Baby 'P' case a "knee-jerk tabloid kicking" without any regard that it had the support of public opinion.
Wade argued that press should use its "collective power" to resist attacks on freedom of the press by regulators, lawyers and politicians and the "morbid" and negative commentary on the demise of the press should stop.
She also took a swipe at media pundits who were "doom mongering" about the future of newspapers. "Newspaper pessimism is age old, nearly as old as some of the media commentators," Wade said.

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