Do topless photos belong up front in newspapers?

German tabloid Bild said on Friday that topless page-one girls were to be moved off the front page. After decades of dividing opinion, is nudity in the press part of a free media, or objectification in the hunt for sales? Have your say.

Do topless photos belong up front in newspapers?
Photo: DPA

Populist newspapers have been running pictures of glamour models for the best part of 40 years, with Bild putting theirs on the front page.

The decision to put them inside is unlikely to have been a moral move in the wake of Thursday’s International Women’s Day – as Bild claimed – but a carefully calculated commercial one.

The paper’s notorious columnist Franz Josef Wagner protested, saying the page-one girl was a bit of light relief in a world full of bad news – a respite from the real world, so to speak.

“You were my ray of sunshine,” he wrote.

Those less in favour argue that the use of naked women to sell newspapers simply contributes to the objectification of women in society.

So is printing naked pictures on newspaper front pages a bit of fun to brighten up the morning? Or would they be better suited to the inside pages where at least a conscious decision has to be made to look at them? Or are they part of society’s objectification of women?

Have your say below.

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Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees

The editor-in-chief of German newspaper Bild is stepping down temporarily while he is investigated over several complaints made by women, publisher Axel Springer group said on Saturday.

Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees
Bild editor Julian Reichelt at the Bild newspaper's 'Sommerfest' party in 2018. Photo: picture alliance / Jörg Carstensen/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

Julian Reichelt had “asked the board of directors to be temporarily relieved of his duties until the allegations have been clarified”, the group said in a statement. The complaints prompted the company to launch an internal investigation led by lawyers.

Reichelt is suspected of having promoted interns with whom he had affairs and then sidelining or firing them, the Spiegel newspaper reported. Members of staff came forward months ago but Spiegel said management had been slow to look into the allegations.

However, the publisher defended itself in its statement: “As a matter of  principle Axel Springer always has to distinguish between rumors, indications and clear evidence.”

It said the firm would take action when there was clear evidence, adding: “Currently, there is no such clear evidence. Prejudgments based on rumors are unacceptable for the Axel Springer corporate culture.”

Reichelt denies the claims, the group said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.