The UK’s Daily Mail news outlet has officially been reported over to press regulators for publishing Tuesday’s front page headline with a photo focused on Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May’s legs.
Journalistic Ethical Code
Amelia Womack, Green Party’s deputy leader, accused the newspaper of breaking ethical editor codes and mistreating women by “contempt” in their submission to Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso). The paper is currently signed up with the organization.
The paper’s March 28 front page news story was completely covered by a very large photo of the UK’s PM Theresa May along with Nicola Sturgeon’s legs, and a caption reading “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!”
In the submission to the ethics committee, Womack accused Daily Mail of breaking clause 12 in the code, that states that editors have to “avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability”.
Submission and Comments
“To bring the politicians’ appearance into this story is not only entirely irrelevant but incredibly disrespectful,” her submission states.
“This headline and the further derogatory comments inside the paper would not have even been considered, let alone published, if the two politicians in question had been men.
“Women in the public sphere deserve to be treated with respect and the headline contributes to a wider culture of sexism. It reinforces a fallacy that politics isn’t a place for women, potentially putting off the next generation of leaders and decision makers.”
She also called for paper’s editor, Paul Dacre, to make an apology.
“This attempt by the Daily Mail to ignore years of progress by women in politics is utterly pathetic. The paper is deliberately ignoring the struggle women have faced to break into politics even though we now have a female prime minister, first leader and party leaders,” she stated.