Dear me, Prince Harry nude in Las Vegas (no surprise there, I suppose). But the problem here is that the photos (trust me, they’re not the highest quality images and probably taken without his knowledge) are not being published by the UK press. This is not simply in deference to the Royal Family (which has probably swallowed enough Valium over this latest crisis) but due to the current situation with the Leveson inquiry. But here’s the challenge in a global, digital community: the images are published elsewhere and the UK press is now asking itself how can it compete if it’s not allowed to do the same. From the Guardian:
Each of the major British newspapers chose not to use them in online stories by late on Wednesday, although they were published by the Ireland-based Westminster gossip blog, Guido Fawkes.
The reticence of the British media is likely to be interpreted by some in the industry as further evidence of a chilling effect caused by the Leveson inquiry into media ethics. Tabloid executives, including the Sun editor Dominic Mohan and the Mail Online publisher Martin Clarke, have complained to the inquiry that they could be forced out of business if they are unable to publish material that is put online by media organisations in other countries and widely available on the internet.
There’s no easy solution here as readers will just go wherever the images happen to be online. And the same holds true for articles that might not be published in the UK due to libel laws but are published elsewhere. Digital media knows no boundaries – or at least the physical borders that once seemed so impenetrable - and news organizations find themselves competing with across different sets of publication standards. This can continue for a while only because print media still plays a (albeit declining) role. It won’t be all that far in the future where the issue has to be resolved. Otherwise readers will simply resolve it for you.
In the meantime, Harry, you may want to keep your pants on while your bar buddies have their cell phones out . . . for a host of reasons – the least of which is the unfair competition for the British press.