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Naked Harry sparks Fleet Street retreat

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 02:15

Aug. 23 - The decision by the British press not to publish pictures of Prince Harry naked in Las Vegas sparks a media debate with one former News Of The World editor saying the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics following phone hacking has neutered newspapers. Sonia Legg reports.

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No, this is not "the" picture of Prince Harry cutting loose in Las Vegas - Britain's top selling tabloid recreated the naughty nude shot to make a point. The Sun - along with the rest of the British media - decided not to publish the real thing which first appeared on an American celebrity gossip website. The royal's representatives appealed to the UK press watchdog after photos of the naked frolic emerged. Some in the industry were amazed they complied. Former executive editor Neil Wallis says UK newspapers have been neutered as a result of the recent phone hacking scandal that led to the closure of his former paper, News of the World. (SOUNDBITE) (English): NEIL WALLIS, FORMER EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE NEWS OF THE WORLD, SAYING: "I have no doubts at all that 15 months ago these pictures would have been in the British newspaper - today No - and I think that that the idea - an editor's decision making - has been taken away because of fears over Leveson is not healthy." Prince Harry has a reputation for enjoying himself and occasionally taking things too far. One former royal protection officer says his security team should have been more careful. (SOUNDBITE) (English): FORMER ROYAL PROTECTION OFFICER KEN WHARFE, SAYING: "Should it be the responsibility of his security team to take these phones. I would say at this point probably yes because there is a history involving Harry - the draw of who he is will encourage people to take pictures for money and I think we are reaching the point now whereby maybe they should have been stopped at the door of the hotel room and those phones confiscated." Several foreign media commentators have ridiculed Fleet Street for losing its bite. Many Londoners are perplexed as well. SOUNDBITE: Scott, saying (English): "If he's done it they should be able to print it, free press" SOUNDBITE: Emma, saying (English): "I think it's pretty fair enough. I mean he is a member of the royal family." SOUNDBITE: Jo, saying (English): "Yeah I guess I'd think what's so special about the royal family, why do they get special treatment over celebrities or anybody else." The Sun's mocked up cover shot also raised eyebrows, with the paper reportedly denying the 21 year old female intern was pressured to strip off. Sonia Legg, Reuters.

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Naked Harry sparks Fleet Street retreat

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - 02:15