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Anorak | Oscar Pistorius: Reeva Steenkamp is turning on the world – it’s what she would have wanted

Oscar Pistorius: Reeva Steenkamp is turning on the world – it’s what she would have wanted

by | 16th, February 2013

THE OSCAR Pistorius murder trial: Why are we watching it? The  Paralympian’s girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29, died at his home in Pretoria on Thursday. Steenkamp was shot four times. Bullets hit her in the head, chest and hand. It seems as through they were fired through the bathroom door at the runner’s home on the Silver Lakes Golf Estate on Thursday. A 9mm pistol was found at the home. The next day the Sun led with the photo of bikini model Steenkamp in a bikini.

To our mind it looked like the cover of a Mexican fotonovela , rather than a serious news sheet, a lurid, sexualised image that portrayed the woman as one who died because of her sexuality. What role did the bikini play in her death? Did she seduce death?

Labour MP Chris Bryant tweeted: “This is a simply despicable front page. It glories in domestic violence. @rupertmurdoch apologise.”

(So. It was domestic violence? Case closed!)

John Prescott’s tweeted: “I really hope every member of the shadow cabinet thinks twice before writing for the Sun after that front page.”

Because the Labour Party are uniquely people of irrefutable honour who don’t do tawdry sensationalism? It will all be ok with Labour. Ivan Lewis was the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who wanted journalists licensed and then struck off if the elite thought them unworthy. The notion of senior politicians deciding what is fit for the press to publish is not the sign of a healthy democratic country. The elite must not, as Mick Hume writes in his excellent There is No Such Thing As a Free Press , “police the motives and minds of tabloid journalists – and their readers.”

One  Sun hack put it succinctly:

 “Andy Coulson often joked that the essence of tabloid journalism is turning someone over one day, and them ringing to thank you the next,” 

Free expression is always preferable.

Suzanne Moore said the cover was “lechery over a corpse…A woman just murdered? I hope mass boycott.”

Let’s see what it does for sales. My guess is that if you like the Sun and buy it, you’ll carry on liking it and buying it. If you don’t like the Sun , you’ll continue to be upset by it.

Roy Greenslade wrote in the Guardian :

So complain away. Argue the case. Embarrass Rupert Murdoch. But also understand that cultural change takes time. One bright fact to note: The Sun and the Daily Star used to sell, between them, more than twice as many copies as they do now. That’s progress, is it not?

Always odd to hear a journalist delighting in the death of newspapers.

Of course, these were Steenkamp’s work clothes. Pistorius is pictured on the same cover in his running vest and blades. From now on the Sun will portray all dead people as they worked. It’s the way of soldiers killed in action. Dead prostitutes will be pictured dressed provocatively; dead doctors will be pictured dressed in white coats and stethoscopes; dead rapists will be dressed as Jimmy Savile (allegedly); and so on.

On Twitter, we’re being  invited to play along with he case. Trish Taylor is the  other of Samantha Taylor, one of Oscar

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Posted: 16th, February 2013 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink