Thursday, February 21, 2013

"The Sun's selection of the photograph simply reflected Ms Steenkamp's own highly successful career choice"

Like many, I was appalled by The Sun's front page when Reeva Steenkamp was killed. They used a photo of her in a bikini, inviting its readers to see her as a sex symbol, even when she was in the morgue. I tweeted and emailed my disgust to The Sun. Today I got an email from its managing editor, Richard Caseby, almost certainly the same as many others.
Dear Margaret,

Thank you for taking the trouble to write and let us know your concerns about our coverage of the arrest of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in South Africa.

I am sorry that you were upset by The Sun's front page on Friday 14th February and its choice of a photograph of Ms Steenkamp in a bikini.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Ms Steenkamp are shocking and tragic.

However, The Sun's selection of the photograph simply reflected Ms Steenkamp's own highly successful career choice. She was one of South Africa's most famous models who has posed in a bikini in fashion shoots and on magazine covers many times.

She was due to appear as a celebrity in the reality TV programme Tropika Island and in publicity for the show had said that her personal claim to fame was being named by the men's lifestyle magazine FHM as "one of the 100 sexiest women in the world two years running". The first episode of the reality show was aired days after her death.

I note that other newspapers made a similar picture choice as The Sun. The Daily Star showed Ms Steenkamp in a bikini on its front page and the Daily Mail published two photographs of her in a bikini in a double-page feature. In New York the Daily News and the New York Post put her on their front pages similarly, and the Huffington Post featured her in a swimsuit in an online gallery of photographs.

We appreciate all feedback and the Editor has been informed about your views.

Yours faithfully,

Richard Caseby
Managing Editor, The Sun
I don't like being addressed in familiar terms ("Dear Margaret"), especially as that's not how I signed my email. As for the references to other news outlets using the same picture, since when did several wrongs make a right?

Dear Mr Caseby, if your wife, daughter or girlfriend was murdered, would you be happy to see her on the front page of The Sun in a similar pose to Reeva's, or are you such a greedy sexist pig that you wouldn't be bothered, as long as the paper sells?

I laughed when I read that Caseby had complained to the Guardian about a piece by Marina Hyde, criticising The Sun. Maybe if he reads this, he'll complain about the suggestion that he could be a greedy sexist pig?

1 comment:

amro said...

What a rubbish reply - but well done for letting them know what you thought.

And I agree about the use of your first name - you not friends!