News & Opinion

Extinction Rebellion blocks printing of nation’s papers

Over the weekend, protesters blocked printing sites leading to a delay in the distribution of Saturday's newspapers.

More than 100 protesters targeted three News Corp printing centres, protesting the media’s climate change coverage. 

A number of national papers were impacted including The Sun, The Times, as well as The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard.

Commenting on the blockade, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said via Twitter: "A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change. 

“It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.”

The Society of Editors’ Ian Murray added: “Everyone has the right to peacefully protest and make their voices heard, after all that is what a free press is all about. But it is not acceptable for those who wish only their voices to be heard to attempt to silence others.

“The UK’s media has provided an enormous amount of coverage on the issue of climate change, exploring the arguments from all angles. This attempt to blackmail the media into slavishly repeating the claims of one side of the debate while ignoring criticism of it will fail but displays a poor understanding of how the freedoms that allow organisations like Extinction Rebellion to protest are protected through the very free press they are attacking.”

As a result, some news brands documented MPs united response to the incident while other papers dedicated articles and letters defending free speech and democracy.

On Saturday, The Sun ran a piece by David Attenborough calling on a global unified response to climate change, which ironically three million readers missed out on. Explore the gallery to see the media's response.

by Hannah Ohm Thomas 07/09/20

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