The naked prince, privacy and work experience

The Northern Echo: Today's Sun front page Today's Sun front page

The debate about whether British newspapers should publish photographs of a naked Prince Harry playing strip billiards has been fast and furious this morning.

It's the hot topic on every radio phone-in and I've been asked to air my views on BBC Tees.

The Northern Echo hasn't published the pictures this morning and I didn't have to make a decision on them because they weren't available to us. We rely on the Press Association (PA) for our national and international news. PA didn't put the pictures out and regional papers, like The Northern Echo, aren't in a position to bid big money for them.

However, the key point in the debate is that any newspaper which published the pictures would be in breach of the Press Complaints Commission's code of practice.

Under Clause 3 (Privacy) it says: "Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life...Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent."

The pictures were taken in the privacy of a hotel room so it would have been a clear breach of the code. And what would have been the public interest argument? 

When Prince Harry famously posed in a Nazi uniform, it was easier to use the public interest justification because of the offensive nature of what he had done. It was a bigger misjudgement by him and the Palace apologised.

This time, there isn't really a compelling public interest defence. Prince Harry gets involved in some private horseplay and someone betrays him by flogging the pictures for £10,000. He's been a bit daft but the pictures fall more into the "so what - he's just having a bit of fun" category for most people.

With national newspapers reeling from the News International phone-hacking scandal, the implications of the Leveson Inquiry, and a warning from the Palace that there would be a complaint to the PCC, no one was prepared to take a chance. The public mood, fuelled by what the News of the World did, has acted as a deterrent.

The Sun would clearly have loved to use the pictures but didn't dare. Instead, it has taken the bizarre step of getting members of staff to recreate the naughty scene in the Las Vegas hotel room.

Features picture editor Harry Miller, who looks more like Harry Redknapp than Prince Harry, finds himself naked on the front page, clutching his crown jewels. Quite frankly, it's a bit pathetic.

But spare a thought for 21-year-old Sophie Henderson who also poses naked in the Sun story, playing the role of Prince Harry's female friend in the strip billiards match.

The Sun describes her as an "intern" - in other words, she's on work experience - and is reported to have been happy to strip.

Fair enough but imagine her dilemma. She's desperate for a job, they're as rare as hen's teeth, and this is her big chance to make an impression. If she's asked if she's prepared to do it, what's she going to say?

 

 

Comments (5)

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10:35am Thu 23 Aug 12

judygone says...

This is typical of the sun newspaper. What a nasty rag it is !
This is typical of the sun newspaper. What a nasty rag it is ! judygone

11:00am Thu 23 Aug 12

CTRILEY says...

judygone wrote:
This is typical of the sun newspaper. What a nasty rag it is !
Yes, but it is cheaper and more absorbent than regular toilet tissue.
[quote][p][bold]judygone[/bold] wrote: This is typical of the sun newspaper. What a nasty rag it is ![/p][/quote]Yes, but it is cheaper and more absorbent than regular toilet tissue. CTRILEY

12:39pm Thu 23 Aug 12

jabdc5, the land that's still trying to recover from the last tory government. says...

uuurrrghhh he has ginger pubes
uuurrrghhh he has ginger pubes jabdc5, the land that's still trying to recover from the last tory government.

6:46pm Thu 23 Aug 12

sofiamog says...

From the USA across the seas to the UK societies elites yet again prove to be condescending and blatantly disrespectful in regards to the struggles, taxes and woes of the public. With banks in the US rewarding themselves huge bonuses and monarchs frolicking around nude in overpriced suites on the public's dime one must ask why these superiors feel the need to shove their indecency in our faces? And why do we ,as the people who allow their lifestyle to exist, accept it ?

Unless of course we've resigned ourselves to the banality of the situation and the fact that the Prince is some sort of desperate action hero who ought to be sequestrated for his own good….?

http://scallywagandv
agabond.com/2012/08/
naked-prince-harry-p
hotos-provoke-the-wr
ath-of-the-queen/
From the USA across the seas to the UK societies elites yet again prove to be condescending and blatantly disrespectful in regards to the struggles, taxes and woes of the public. With banks in the US rewarding themselves huge bonuses and monarchs frolicking around nude in overpriced suites on the public's dime one must ask why these superiors feel the need to shove their indecency in our faces? And why do we ,as the people who allow their lifestyle to exist, accept it ? Unless of course we've resigned ourselves to the banality of the situation and the fact that the Prince is some sort of desperate action hero who ought to be sequestrated for his own good….? http://scallywagandv agabond.com/2012/08/ naked-prince-harry-p hotos-provoke-the-wr ath-of-the-queen/ sofiamog

11:27am Tue 28 Aug 12

Insel_Affen says...

So would the Echo have published them, if they had been available?
.
Not sure if he was on the 'Public's Dime' though as he was there as an Army Officer, not the Prince.
So would the Echo have published them, if they had been available? . Not sure if he was on the 'Public's Dime' though as he was there as an Army Officer, not the Prince. Insel_Affen

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