Huffpost UK

The Sun On Sunday Launches With Pledge Of 'Trust And Decency'

Posted: Updated:

The Sun on Sunday launched today with a pledge of "trust" and "decency".

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch personally supervised the final stages of production of the new title which promised readers it would remain "fearless, outspoken, mischievous and fun".

The newspaper claimed it would hold all journalists to account and said it had appointed a readers' champion to deal with errors and feedback from the public.

In an editorial, the newspaper also commented on the arrests of 10 current and former employees over alleged corrupt payments to public officials, saying they were "innocent until proven guilty".

It said that the closure of its sister paper the News of the World, which ceased publication last July at the height of the hacking scandal, was a "sobering experience".

In an editorial, titled: A new Sun rises today, it said: "As we launch the seven day Sun, we want to strengthen that connection (with the readers) with a new independent Sun Readers' Champion to accept feedback and correct significant errors.

"Our journalists must abide by the Press Complaints Commission's editors code, the industry standard for ethical behaviour, and the News Corporation standards of business conduct.

"We will hold our journalists to the standards we expect of them. After all a newspaper which holds the powerful to account must do the same with itself.

"You will be able to trust our journalists to abide by the values of decency as they gather news."

Above: Murdoch launching the new paper in 2012, and a similar scene when launching the first Sun tabloid under Murdoch on 17 November 1969.

It said the Sun has been a "tremendous force for good", adding: "It is worth reminding our readers, and detractors, of that as we publish our historic first Sunday edition during what is a challenging period.

"News International closed our sister paper the News of the World over the phone hacking scandal.

"Since then some of our own journalists have been arrested, though not charged, over allegations of payments to public officials for stories. We believe those individuals are innocent until proven guilty.

"It has been a sobering experience for our entire industry."

The front page of the new title features an exclusive interview with Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden, the first after the birth of her daughter, which left her in a critical condition in hospital.

The story is headlined: My Heart Stopped For 40 Seconds, and is accompanied by a picture of Holden cradling her daughter Hollie.

Holden, 40, a mother of two, was in a critical condition for three days after giving birth to Hollie in January.

She told the newspaper she was "moments from death" and describes her ordeal in an interview spread over five pages.

The newspaper, which contains 92 pages and a 28-page football pull-out, also features a topless photo of singer Kelly Rowland on Page 3, but the X Factor judge is covering her modesty.

Murdoch travelled to the paper's printers in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, tonight to witness the new Sunday tabloid roll off the press for the first time.

Earlier today he thanked staff at The Sun, who were only told that their newspaper would be rolled out seven days a week, on Monday.

The 80-year-old tweeted: "New Sunday edition nearly ready. Fantastic achievement by great staff. Many thanks."

It is understood that there will be three million copies of the paper printed overnight and Mr Murdoch said he would be "very happy" if his new paper exceed two million copies and enjoyed success similar to the NotW.

Bosses at News International have recruited a clutch of celebrity columnists including Katie Price and Nancy Dell'Olio for its latest title, while the Archbishop of York and chef Heston Blumenthal will also have weekly slots.

News International announced the birth of a Sunday edition of the biggest selling UK daily newspaper on Monday and it quickly sold out of advertising space.

The new paper tipped the balance in the lucrative Sunday market after announcing it would be sold for just 50p. It sparked a tabloid price war between rival titles.

The Daily Star Sunday had "your best value paper - 50p" emblazoned across it, and the Sunday Express read: "30p cheaper than the Mail on Sunday" written in a prominent font on the front page.

Above: The huge printing factory where the new Sun on Sunday Newspapers rolled off the presses at the News Printers, in Broxbourne Hertfordshire

Around the Web

Murdoch's new Sun on Sunday rolls off presses

Sun on Sunday rises under Rupert Murdoch's watchful eye

Sun on Sunday scores Scottish TV sponsorship coup

First Sun on Sunday to launch tomorrow

News Corp. Starts Sun on Sunday After Phone Hacking

New UK Sunday paper rolls off presses