The moral bankruptcy of The Sun

By Boris Sedacca

Earlier this week, the BBC documentary series Panorama aired unseen footage from the 1989 Hillsborough disaster that casts doubt on medical evidence given at the inquest. The investigation into the cover-up that followed the Hillsborough disaster, which resulted in the death of 96 fans, has revealed that crucial evidence from an off-duty police officer that was undermined at the original inquest into the tragedy was true. 

The officer’s account would have challenged a controversial decision by the coroner to set a time limit beyond which dying fans could not have survived. In ‘Hillsborough - How They Buried the Truth’, Panorama revealed how police, politicians, lawyers and judges all played a part in burying the truth about Britain's worst football disaster.

What the BBC did not delve too much into was how The Sun played such an active role in the cover up – not surprising given that the two news giants are at daggers drawn most of the time. The Sun article alleged drunken Liverpool fans abused victims and police during the disaster.

Last September, Harry Arnold, the journalist who wrote the story, expressed regret for what he claimed were changes made by the then editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, saying he should apologise unambiguously for the comments. MacKenzie had written the headline ‘The Truth’ on the front-page story which ran four days after the disaster.

Following the release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report into the disaster MacKenzie subsequently offered ‘profuse apologies to the people of Liverpool for that headline’, which blamed fans for the Hillsborough tragedy.

Although there is no excusing what MacKenzie did, there is no point singling out one man for the wholesale corruption and deep-rooted moral bankruptcy which is manifest within the corporate structure of News International.

Having been so brazen in its character assassination of Liverpool supporters, The Sun is now unusually quiet on the matter. Go to the website, and then sort the results as ‘Newest first’ and you will see no recent coverage about Hillsborough.

Are The Sun’s editorial staff victims of collective amnesia? I wonder.

Media Moves
Suzanne Calendar takes over as editor of Industrial Compliance at Datateam Business Media.

Fast Group has moved from NewbyCom to Findlay Media. Fast Group consists of Fast magazine, Fastening Solutions website and the biannual FAST exhibition. Paul Gay will remain as editor, with Mark Newby continuing as sales director.

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