Ian Monk: The Sun shines on UK press industry

Three cheers for the rising of The Sun on Sunday and for Rupert Murdoch's undiminished appetite for a fight.

Ian Monk: The Sun shines on UK press industry
Ian Monk: The Sun shines on UK press industry

The Leveson Inquiry and the general evisceration of the press are shining a light on past unacceptable media practices.

Rightly, the holding to account of those allegedly guilty of criminal wrongdoing enables many a reputation manager to breathe easier on behalf of clients. It cannot be right that individual and brand reputations can be grievously damaged by information obtained through criminal actions.

To this extent, concepts of privacy and public interest need defining and enshrining in regulation governing the ways in which the UK's media behave.

However, until this week's announcement there was a real danger that the Leveson effect was going far beyond the judge's remit. It appeared to be threatening the very existence of the British print media and in doing so destroying the genuine press freedom required by any true democracy.

The climate created by the inquiry threatened to tar all newspapers - even magazines - with the same brush.

With print hit by falling ad revenues and fighting to adapt to the digital age, such a poisoning of its reputation looked akin to a final nail in the coffin.

Now, not for the first time, Murdoch has audaciously turned the tide. Confidently launching a newspaper into the Sunday void left by the News of the World signals print is not yet to write its own obituary.

A vibrant and flourishing print sector benefits all media professionals. And it is fitting, in the age of new media opportunity, that the Sunday launch comes from a company whose newspaper websites and apps are miles ahead of rival print media.

Publicists should welcome with open arms the opportunities offered by The Sun on Sunday.

Reputation managers can be reassured that, given the new rigours of News International, the new Sunday will be far more accountable than its predecessor.

The Sun shining on a late winter Sunday means a better long-term outlook for all.

Ian Monk is founder of Ian Monk Associates and a former executive at the Daily Mail and The Sun.

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