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Industry

The Sun faces loss of £68m

Currently the biggest-selling print newspaper in the UK, The Sun, is looking likely to lose this title as it reports £68m loss.

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The Sun is still paying for the 2011 phone hacking scandal

Accounts seen by the Guardian show that the title is still spending an eighth of its revenue on cleaning up the phone hacking scandal which occurred in 2011.

The ‘News International phone hacking scandal’ involved British newspapers owned by Rupert Murdoch, such as The Sun, and the now defunct News of the World.

At the time, the scandal cost Murdoch around £54m on legal fees and damages. Almost ten years later and new figures have shown The Sun is still having to spend a large amount of its income on new cases as they continue to occur.

As a result of these ongoing costs, the title has reported a loss of £68m during the 12 months up to July 2019.
In addition to this, The Sun is also facing a drop in print revenue as its paid circulation falls below 1.1m copies a day.

Instead of resolving claims quickly and responsibly, News UK’s persistence with putting claimants through months of legal action with mounting costs and liability for both sides has backfired

Nathan Sparkes, policy director of Hacked Off – a campaign group for free and accountable press which works with victims of press abuse – has issued a statement amidst this news.

Sparkes comments: “News UK have pursued a legal strategy of stringing out cases for months only to settle immediately before allegations of phone hacking at The Sun are tested in court. These figures show how this approach has not only subjected claimants to months and years of needless anxiety, but also cost News UK tens of millions in legal costs which they could have better spent on hiring journalists.

“Instead of resolving claims quickly and responsibly, News UK’s persistence with putting claimants through months of legal action with mounting costs and liability for both sides has backfired. The greatest threat to the financial security of publishers like News UK is their own executives’ obsessive refusal to respond meaningfully to the volume and extend of allegations of illegality they face.”

Just four months ago, Prince Harry issued legal proceedings at the high court against the publisher over alleged phone hacking.



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