The pair said they will no longer “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.”
As they settle into their new lives in Los Angeles, Harry and Meghan are making a few big changes to ensure it is different from their time in London – namely, cutting ties with four major British tabloids.
In a letter shared with editors of The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror, Harry and Meghan revealed that as part of a new media relations strategy, they will no longer communicate with the titles due to each outlet’s use of “salacious gossip” to draw traffic and increase advertising dollars.
Part of the statement read, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe that a free press is a cornerstone to any democracy – particularly in moments of crisis. At its best, this free press shines light on dark places, telling stories that would otherwise go untold, standing up for what’s right, challenging power and holding those who abuse the system to account. It has been said that journalism’s first obligation is to the truth. [We] agree wholeheartedly. It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”
They continued, “There is a real human cost to this way of doing business and it affects every corner of society. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have watched people they know – as well as complete strangers – have their lives completely pulled apart for no good reason, other than the fact that salacious gossip boosts advertising revenue. With that said, please note that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be engaging with your outlet. There will be no corroboration and zero engagement.” They concluded that they will not “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of click bait and distortion.”
According to NBC, this new arrangement means that the four aforementioned titles will no longer receive updates on the pair, or access to their official photographs – both of which will be shared with other media outlets. In the statement, the pair stressed that the this new policy “is not in any way a blanket policy for all media” adding that they are “looking forward to working with journalists and media organizations all over the world, engaging with grassroots media, regional and local media, and young, up-and-coming journalists, to spotlight issues and causes that so desperately need acknowledging.” Furthermore, the pair said that they also “look forward to doing whatever they can to help further opportunities for more diverse and underrepresented voices, who are needed now more than ever.”
Harry and Meghan – the latter in particular – have had a tenuous relationship with the British tabloids over the past couple of years. This week, Meghan is due to attend a virtual hearing for her case against the Mail on Sunday for its publication of a letter she sent to her father ahead of her wedding to Harry in 2018. Both have previously spoken out about their treatment in the press, but stressed in the statement that this new policy “is not about avoiding criticism” or “shutting down public conversation or censoring accurate reporting” but rather to encourage reporting, either “good or bad”, that isn’t “based on a lie.”