The Sun’s Page 3 back in print after short-lived absence

On Tuesday 20th January, The Times reported a story that their sister publication, The Sun, was dropping their Page 3 feature.

Page 3 first originated in the tabloid newspaper in 1970 and ever since then has been a regular presence, boasting images of topless or scantily clad women.

However, earlier this week on Monday and Tuesday there was an absence of the usual large size picture fuelling rumours that the paper had finally decided to put the feature to rest.

Its absence proved to be short-lived as by Thursday, Page 3 was back under the title of “Clarifications and Corrections.”

The caption read “Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that on Page 3 of today’s Sun is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth” accompanied by a topless image of a blonde haired girl winking to the camera.

The paper also commented on the rumours surrounding Page 3’s alleged demise, adding “we would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.”

This was taken a step further when the publication’s head of PR, Dylan Sharpe, tweeted the story directly to notable journalists such as Kay Burley, Steve Hewlett and Lucy Manning amongst others, as well as politician Harriet Harman, who was not involved in the story at all.

The paper came under a round of heavy fire in the media as well as amongst groups campaigning to get rid of Page 3.

No More Page 3 is a group established in 2012, which has gathered 230,000 signatories to their online petition on the issue.

It has also gained the support of a number of MPs and anti-sexism organisations backing their cause.

Speaking exclusively to The Student, Brenna Aston, No More Page 3 campaigner and a University of Edinburgh student, criticised The Sun: “Page 3 went, and then it came back again, all in the space of a week.

“We didn’t click the victory button and we didn’t pay for the party… I hate to break it to them, but we aren’t going anywhere.”

Kirsty Haigh is another University of Edinburgh student all too familiar with the publication.

Two years ago she led a successful campaign on campus to get the Edinburgh University Student Association (EUSA) to stop selling The Sun until they removed Page 3.

Talking to The Student, Haigh, former EUSA Vice President Services, said: “I think the No More Page 3 campaign has been very successful at getting people talking about how and why women are portrayed in media in such a sexist way.

“However, it’s clear that simply removing nipples from Page 3 is not changing the sexist culture that we live in.”

Eve Livingston, EUSA Vice President Societies and Activities, voiced similar sentiments: “The culture of misogyny extends far beyond page 3 of The Sun.

“We fight hard to combat misogyny on campus through our campaigns against sexual harassment, rape culture and other women’s liberation issues.

“As long as women remain subordinated and discriminated against that work will always remain a priority.”

 

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The Student Newspaper 2016