A petition is underway calling for the English city of Manchester to boycott The Sun newspaper, following its reporting of the bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert which left 22 people dead.
The Rupert Murdoch-owned publication drew a lot of criticism from the public over two front pages this week that covered the bombing tragedy.
According to JOE.co.uk, more than 20,000 people have already called for the newspaper to be banned in Manchester after they felt “The Sun ran a story that was a naked manipulation of tragic events to serve its own political purposes”.
— Markus Solan (@markinpoland) May 23, 2017
Here’s the full version of the petition:
The city of Liverpool has boycotted The Sun newspaper since the Hillsborough disaster. The paper collaborated with local police to pin the blame for the 96 deaths on Liverpool fans, and it took 27 years and a public inquiry to set the record straight. In the wake of the Manchester bombing, The Sun has provoked the city of Manchester to push for a boycott too.
On the night of 22 May, an audience made up mostly of teenage girls was attacked with a bomb as they left the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester’s MEN Arena. The youngest victim to have been identified so far is eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos.
On a day set aside for mourning, with all political campaigns stood down, The Sun ran a story that was a naked manipulation of tragic events to serve its own political purposes. And just two years after it was ordered to place an apology to the Labour leader on its front page over another anti-Corbyn slur.
But of course, by the time any new apology is forced out of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid, the election will be long over. And the damage would be done.
So instead, the people of Manchester are taking action now.
Friends and families of those affected, Mancunians and others have taken to social media to call for the boycott of The Sun. At a time where media and political regulators seem to be failing to uphold standards, consumers can apply real pressure. Simply by taking their custom elsewhere.
Here’s the other front page that caused outrage among readers of The Sun:
WEDNESDAY’S SUN FRONT PAGE: with depressing inevitability, The Sun is the only newspaper to give the killer front page coverage. Not needed. pic.twitter.com/52pkwxMgDy
— The Sun Apologies (@SunApology) May 23, 2017
The Sun has since issued the following statement to JOE.co.uk in response:
The petition has not been started due to the front page showing the killer, as you are well aware. Indeed, images of the killer have been running on BBC and Sky all day and no one has called to boycott them.
The petition, as you then make slightly clearer, is due to a total misunderstanding. The front page you feature (‘Blood on his hands’) was Tuesday’s first edition splash and is clearly about the IRA. It was drawn at 8pm and sent to print at 10pm, 35 minutes before the Manchester bombing occurred. The second edition front page reflected the fact that since publishing the first edition a bomb had gone off.
B&T checked the petition online this morning, only to discover that it has been made unavailable, which suggests it has reached the goal of 25,000 signatures to the mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham.