Rupert Murdoch’s Sun newspaper has come under fire in the UK for its coverage of the murder of model Reeva Steenkamp allegedly by her boyfriend, South African “Blade Runner” paralympian Oscar Pistorius.
The newspaper’s frontpage, published just one day after the Valentine’s Day tragedy, read: “Three shots. Screams. Silence. Three more shots,” next to a large picture of bikini-clad model Steenkamp.
The paper has sparked a nationwide debate about misogyny in the press and the sensitive reporting of domestic violence.
Hundreds of people have taken to Twitter and other social networking sites to register their disgust with the newspaper’s editorial decision.
Labour politician Chris Bryant demanded proprietor Murdoch apologise, tweeting: “This is a simply despicable front page. It glories in domestic violence.”
Divisive columnist Suzanne Moore, who writes for the Mail on Sunday and the Guardian, claimed the paper had hit “a new low.” The front page represented “lechery over a corpse,” she argued.
A Twitter campaign to send formal complaints to Sun editor Dominic Mohan was well underway by Friday lunchtime.
However former deputy editor Neil Wallis condemned the latest tabloid storm as “totally fake,” stirred up by “the usual suspects who never read the paper anyway.”
Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been charged with the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, after she was shot repeatedly during the night. Prosecutors are seeking a charge that the world-famous sportsman premeditated his girlfriend's death.