What the papers say: Reed holds firm on arms exhibit

The Lancet spoke in the respectable tones expected from the 'bible of the world's medical industry' (The Times, 9 September) when it criticised owner Reed Elsevier over an arms fair.

Yet when its editorial 'respectfully asked Reed to divest itself of all business interests that threaten human well-being' (The Business, 9 September), there was little doubt over the severity of the request.

'Lancet slams own publisher for arms link,' headlined DeHavilland, (9 September), while The Independent asserted 'Lancet attacks owner over arms'.

The messages were clear for Reed. Lancet editors, board members and readers were 'deeply troubled' (The Lancet, 9 September) by discovering its publisher hosted Europe's largest military exhibition (DSEi), through subsidiary Spearhead Exhibitions.

But Reed Elsevier remained steadfast. The publisher's reply to the criticisms upheld in The Lancet was unapologetic. The arms exhibition, it stated, was in 'compliance with the law'.

Reed Elsevier's view was that the defence industry was 'central to the preservation of freedom and national security'.

- Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.



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