Prince Harry and Meghan cut ties with British papers in ‘zero engagement’ policy
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have informed four new newspaper organizations — The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Express – that they will no longer work with them.
According to a representative, the couple took the action in response to “distorted, false or invasive” stories.
Harry and Meghan have stated that they would not “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who stepped down as working royals at the end of last month, have made no secret of their anger with the tabloids, and Meghan’s legal action against one of the journals will be heard at London’s High Court later this week.
They stated in a letter to the editors that they would no longer be involved with their publications.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know – as well as complete strangers – have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue,” their letter said.
“With that said, please note that The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet. There will be no corroboration and zero engagement.
“This policy is not about avoiding criticism. It’s not about shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting. Media have every right to report on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, good or bad. But it can’t be based on a lie.”
According to The Guardian, the new policy applies not just to the four daily newspapers, but also to their Sunday and online editions.
The Daily Star, which was not expressly mentioned, is published by the same company that owns the Mirror and Express.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are looking forward to working with journalists and media organizations all across the globe, including grassroots media, regional and local media, and young and up-and-coming journalists, to bring to light concerns and causes that need to be recognized. And they are eager to do everything they can to provide chances for more diverse and marginalized perspectives, which are needed today more than ever.
The restriction on engaging with the media means that the couple’s public relations staff will no longer respond to inquiries from the media requesting them to clarify whether or not statements made against the pair are accurate.
Since their lavish 2018 wedding, Meghan, a former American actress, and Harry, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the British throne, have become one of the world’s most famous couples.
In many situations, established media has stepped in to refute fake news, while some of the nastiest feedback on social media comes directly from the public.
The infatuation with Meghan and Harry is more than just a yearning for celebrity gossip. They have become a metaphor for the opposing forces at work in modern Britain, and to no fault of their own: the contemporary, progressive, globalized viewpoint vs the old, protectionist, pro-Brexit viewpoint. This was always going to be a larger story than the pair themselves.
According to the Financial Times, the new policy prohibits publications from obtaining updates and images from the pair, and they may even be prevented from attending their media engagements.
Photographs of the Sussexes giving food to disadvantaged individuals in Los Angeles have been published in recent days by two of the publications that received the letter.
Her attorneys further claim that the newspaper “intentionally distorted or manipulated” the letter’s contents by choosing to “deliberately omit or suppress” some passages, and that she was not informed that her estranged father’s letter to the duchess would be published.
Harry has stated that Meghan’s treatment mirrored the continuous attention his mother received in the years leading up to her death.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditised to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person,” he said in a statement last October
“I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
However, media commentators questioned the timing of the couple’s announcement, which came amidst the coronavirus epidemic.
“Imagine thinking anyone cares about their hurt little me-me-me egos as health workers around the world are dying at work?” said Piers Morgan, a breakfast TV show host and a former Daily Mirror editor. “What a pair of repulsive, deluded narcissistic tools.”
The pair formally stood down as senior working members of the Royal Family at the end of March as part of a transition that began with their statement in January of their wish to become financially independent.
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