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Huw Edwards receiving hospital care mounts pressure on The Sun over tabloid ethics

The revelation that Huw Edwards is receiving hospital care for severe depression will raise fresh questions about tabloid media reporting.

The Sun newspaper, which had run a series of stories claiming that an unnamed presenter sought out young people on a dating app and paid for explicit photos, will now be expected to act with sensitivity following the news that Edwards is seriously unwell.

Opponents of the tabloid press will argue that this is another example of excessive intrusion.

National newspapers promise to abide by the Editor’s Code operated by press regulator, Ipso. It states that “everyone is entitled to respect for their private and family life” and editors will be “expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent.”

The presenter himself has promised to address the allegations made against him when he is well enough.

He may also be asking lawyers to investigate whether the stories which led to his exposure amount to an invasion of an individual’s right to privacy, which has been established in several recent legal cases.

However there is also a public interest justification, provided for in the Editors’ Code of Practice, for publishing information in which an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If The Sun can show its facts are accurate then the paper could argue that publication of the claim that a high-profile BBC presenter made payments to a young person in return for sexual images when that individual used that money to fund a drug habit was a matter of public interest.

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