About face: Tabloid editors swipe back at Harry and Meghan

A group representing newspaper and online editors has criticised Prince Harry and wife Meghan’s decision to cut all media contact with Britain’s biggest tabloid newspapers.

Apr 21, 2020, updated Apr 21, 2020
The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she suffered a miscarriage earlier this year (Photo: Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment)

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she suffered a miscarriage earlier this year (Photo: Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment)

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray accused the couple of censorship, saying they had enjoyed much positive coverage by the tabloids.

“The truth is that Harry and Meghan have enjoyed and continue to enjoy a huge amount of positive coverage for themselves and their causes, much of it carried in the very titles they are now targeting,” he said.

“They may have been stung by some of the coverage they have not liked … But the answer should never be to attempt to shun individual titles and their millions of readers.”

The Guardian and other media quoted a letter to editors from the couple’s representatives accusing the tabloids – including Britain’s two most popular titles, The Sun and The Daily Mail – of publishing stories that were “distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason”.

Lawyers for Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, warned British media in January against harassment of the couple following their announcement of plans to step back from royal duties.

The exclusion of 10 tabloid titles and associated websites – together accounting for the majority of Britain’s print and online newspaper readership – is an “unprecedented direct attack on a large part of the media that leaves little chance of repairing the relationship”, The Guardian said.

The letter said the couple, who recently moved their main home to Los Angeles, believed in a free press but would no longer “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion”.

Popular media commentators also criticised the announcement and its timing.

“As the world grapples with COVID-19, do they really think people care what media they deal with?” veteran BBC interviewer Andrew Neil asked on Twitter.

Lawyers for Meghan are scheduled to present a claim against the Mail on Sunday in a British court from Friday.

The lawsuit accuses the newspaper of unlawfully publishing a private letter to Meghan from her estranged father, who provided it to the publication.


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