Prescott hits at Sun’s 'titillating' Reeva Steenkamp cover
John Prescott urges tabloid readers to complain about treatment of Pistorius murder story
THE FRONT page of today's Sun newspaper, showing murdered South African model Reeva Steenkamp in a pink bikini next to the headline "3 shots. Screams. Silence", drew an angry reaction from Labour heavyweight John Prescott.
The former deputy PM took to Twitter this morning to denounce the paper's "titillating" treatment of the model's death allegedly at the hand of her boyfriend, the Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius.
In a message addressed to Rupert Murdoch's Twitter account, Prescott described the cover as "a new low" for the paper. "Do you really think this is appropriate?" he asked. Prescott also tweeted the telephone number of The Sun and editor Dominic Mohan's work email address, with the hashtag #HerNameWasReevaSteenkamp, urging the tabloid's readers to complain.
Prescott claimed The Sun had paid £35,000 for the picture of Steenkamp and said he hoped members of the Shadow Cabinet would now think twice before writing articles for the newspaper.
Yahoo News said many users of social media agreed with Prescott that the Sun's cover appeared to be an attempt to "titillate its readers with the image of a woman who had been recently murdered". The fact that the paper had described her on its cover as "Pistorius's lover" rather than using her name, was also a source of anger.
Yahoo points out that similar coverage of Steenkamp's murder was provided by other tabloids, who showed several photographs of the model in revealing clothing, but "none chose to put the images on the front page, next to the news of the killing".
Marina Hyde, writing in The Guardian under the headline 'Reeva Steenkamp's corpse was in the morgue, her body was on the Sun's front page', noted that the tabloid abandoned its topless page three photo today - "maybe because that particular itch had been scratched" by the appearance of the bikini-clad murder victim on the cover.
A petition posted on the website Change.org calling on the Sun to apologise for its "shocking" and "disrespectful" cover had been signed by more than 2,000 people at the time of posting.