‘Page 3’ on the way out?

Five months ago, in August 2014, I photographed the second anniversary party of the ‘No More Page 3‘ campaign, held on the courtyard outside the new offices of News International facing London Bridge Station. A  few weeks later I wrote about it on this blog, in the post ‘No More Page 3‘.

In the news today, there were reports that The Sun has abandoned its practice of publishing these ‘topless’ images daily on the page, and in today’s issue the spot was occupied first by a couple of women  in bikinis running along a beach in Dubai, though later editions apparently displaced them with the story of the death of a long-running Coronation Street soap star. Something which is news, if not news that I have any particular interest in, having last seen the programme before she joined it 43 years ago.

What was interesting this morning was to hear the BBC’s  tame media commentator talk about this without mention of the campaign which was undoubtedly what prompted newspaper owner Rupert Murdoch to consider dropping the daily feature and to finally order its demise. It was left to a woman MP also taking part, Stella Creasy to mention them, after which he rather grudgingly admitted that ‘No More Page 3’ might have played a small part.  ‘Like’, I thought, ‘it wouldn’t have happened without them.’

Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow speaks at an anti-racist event in 2012

It’s hard not to conclude that there is a conspiracy to play down the role of protests in promoting change. People often tell me it changes nothing, but it is perhaps the only way most ‘ordinary people’ can influence events. I do believe that it is important to vote (and vital to vote for the right people) but it’s even more important to get out there on the street with banners and placards, and to organise and sign petitions.

Of course, protest does often become respectable in long retrospect, and its importance can even become overstated. Slavery still continues despite the valiant efforts of Wilberforce and the abolitionists, and the racism that underlay it is perhaps now on the increase.

So far, the ‘Page 3’ success – not yet confirmed by The Sun, but reported by another Murdoch mouthpiece – seems a very partial one.  A step in the right direction to a newspaper which publishes pictures of women simply because they are making news.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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5 Responses to “‘Page 3’ on the way out?”

  1. ChrisL says:


    Apparently, without first hand knowledge, still available behind the pay wall. A subtle marketing move rather than a full response?

  2. Yes, I think the site you give the link on is more an attack on photography than anything to do with Page 3 – from one of these people who think you should never photograph people without getting permission first. It’s wrong in so many ways.

    But the main impetus behind the campaign was I think the way people got Page 3 put into their face by people reading the paper and the public display. Looking at it on the screen of a phone is something you do in private even if you are in a public place.

    Of course we all know that pictures of semi-clad women are available on the web – and there is no need to pay for The Sun to see them.

    Despite my qualifications in the post, this was a victory for the campaign, and I think should be recognised as such and applauded.

  3. ChrisL says:

    I thought you would enjoy that site post :-)

    It does demonstrate attitudes out there and I agree re the victory.
    Even “The media show” this pm radio 4 usually very accurate and well informed failed to mention the campaign but did make interesting points that thye 40+year old paper was aiming to “mature” and not be the cheeky chappie it was positioned as on launch and the place it has in the greater empire.

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