The Sun Ignored Hillsborough Verdict On Front Page And People Really Aren’t Happy
96 victims, 27 years, a two-year inquest, and not one word of it has been mentioned on The Sun’s front page.
‘Justice for the 96’ has appeared on the front page of nearly all major British papers as they report the inquest verdict that the 96 Liverpool football fans who died after a crush at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium in 1989 were unlawfully killed.
And now, The Sun has come under fire for failing to mention the Hillsborough inquest verdict on its front page – understandably, people really aren’t happy.
The paper is the subject of a long-running boycott by many readers over its original Hillsborough coverage. Four days after the 1989 tragedy, the paper ran a front page story claiming to tell ‘The Truth’ about the calamity which left 96 people dead and many injured. It claimed that an anonymous policeman said some fans had ‘picked pockets of victims’, ‘urinated on cops’, and that some fans had beat up a policeman giving the ‘kiss of life’.
If anyone should have run the verdict front page, it should be them.
Instead though, they ran a double-page spread on the outcome and apologised again. The Sun’s coverage can fairly be described as accurate and respectful, but that’s pretty much it.
The supporters were not to blame. But the police smeared them with a pack of lies which in 1989 The Sun and others in the media swallowed whole.
We apologised prominently 12 years ago, again four years ago on the front page, and do so unreservedly again now.
The Sun’s front page, which has no mention of Hillsborough, instead reveals that David Cameron is using WhatsApp to communicate his EU campaign briefings and keep tactics secret. It’s safe to say this story is not attracting nearly as much interest or is half as important.
The Sun isn’t the only newspaper that chose not to include the Hillsborough verdicts on its front page, but its decision to feature the news on pages eight and nine immediately prompted backlash and criticism on social media.
Even news agencies are paying tribute to The Sun’s mistakes. Today’s Metro reproduces the infamous front page of The Sun in 1989, headlined ‘The Truth’ – using the exact same layout to detail ‘The Truth’ which emerged from the inquest.
On Tuesday night, The Sun started trending on Twitter in the UK, with more than 124,000 tweets using the term – a day before the Hillsborough verdict did not appear on the front page of its paper, or its sister paper, The Times, for its first edition.
On Tuesday, former editor of The Sun Kelvin MacKenzie, who oversaw the 1989 story published blaming fans, also apologised for the ‘hurt’ the story caused.
He said in a statement:
Today’s verdicts are an important step in obtaining justice for the victims. My heart goes out to those who have waited so long for vindication.
As I have said before, the headline I published was wrong and I am profoundly sorry for the hurt it caused.
And The Sun’s political editor, Tom Newton Dunn, said the police are at the ‘core’ of the whole story – and the paper were misled by them. He told Sky News if people are still angry over the 1989 front page, he ‘completely understands’, and added: “We deserve everything that is thrown our way.”
I’m sure a lot of people would agree with you on that, Tom.