The city of Liverpool has boycotted The Sun newspaper since the Hillsborough disaster, after a front page and editorial which blamed the 96 deaths on Liverpool fans. It took 27 years and a public inquiry to set the record straight. In the wake of the 22 May Manchester bombing, The Sun has provoked the city of Manchester to push for a boycott too. Now, nearly 80,000 people have joined the call for a boycott.
The front page
Just two years after it was ordered to place an apology on its front page for smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, The Sun is in hot water once more.
In the 22 May bombing, 22 people were killed and 59 injured. After the bombing, The Sun ran a front page which placed an image of the youngest identified victim of the attack (8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos) next to her killer. The move provoked strong criticism from Manchester and beyond.
WEDNESDAY'S SUN FRONT PAGE: with depressing inevitability, The Sun is the only newspaper to give the killer front page coverage. Not needed. pic.twitter.com/52pkwxMgDy
— The Sun Apologies (@SunApology) May 23, 2017
Nearly 80,000 people had signed the petition calling on Mayor Andy Burnham for a Manchester-wide boycott of The Sun before the petition was removed from Change.org.
A new petition put in its place has already attracted over 11,000 signatures in the hour (at time of writing) since the former was removed.
Friends and families of those affected, Mancunians, and others have taken to social media to call for the boycott of The Sun. At a time where media and political regulators seem to be failing to uphold standards, consumers can apply real pressure. Simply by taking their custom elsewhere:
— Not So Strong (@StrongerStabler) May 24, 2017
One man, still looking for his brother after the bombing, sent a personal message to The Sun:
— Dan Hett (@danhett) May 23, 2017
The Canary complied with a request from The Sun to remove a post from our site which reported criticism of an earlier front page featuring Jeremy Corbyn. The front page in question went to print prior to the attack. The Sun issued a new front page subsequently. These latest criticisms are focused on that subsequent coverage.
— Not So Strong (@StrongerStabler) May 25, 2017
A line crossed
For the people of Manchester, this is not just a story. It is their life, being ripped apart. What they don’t need is media vultures literally capitalising on their grief. They need privacy, compassion, and time to deal with the unimaginable circumstances in which they find themselves. And yet again, The Sun is refusing to; dishonouring the victims of a disaster.
But Manchester and Liverpool show there is something each of us can do to help. We can ensure we don’t reward irresponsible hackery with our attention, or our money.
– Those who are concerned about loved ones or anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the attack can call this emergency number: 0800 096 0095.
– For more coverage on the attack, see here.
– Take action with Stop Funding Hate.
– Read and support independent media outlets that hold the powerful to account:
The Canary, Media Diversified, Novara Media, Corporate Watch, Red Pepper, New Internationalist, Common Space, Media Lens, Bella Caledonia, Vox Political, Evolve Politics, Real Media, Reel News, STRIKE! magazine,The Bristol Cable, The Meteor, Salford Star, The Ferret.
Featured image via Twitter