The main feature of feminism in journalism has been the Page 3 publication in red top paper The Sun. It has appeared in publications since November 1970 when The Sun started printing pictures of glamour models who were topless on their third page. There has also been an official Page 3 website since June 1999.
“Page 3” and “Page Three” are registered trademarks of News UK which is the parent company of The Sun but the feature is widely imitated by other British tabloids and by newspapers in other countries.
It is very popular with many readers but also attracts huge criticism and controversy. Some critics have been known to argue that it demeans and objectifies women while others have claimed that it is nothing less than soft core pornography that shouldn’t appear in a national newspaper which is widely available to the public.
Some campaigners have tried to get Page 3 banned through legal channels while others have tried to get editors to drop the feature voluntarily or to modify it so models don’t appear topless anymore.
In August 2013 the Irish edition of The Sun replaced topless women with glamour models who are clothed on page 3.
Page 3 was accredited as one of the main reasons why the flagging The Sun became one of the most popular newspapers in the UK in the mid 1970s.
Other papers the Daily Mirror and Daily Star both adopted this approach to compete with The Sun although the Daily Mirror stopped featuring topless models in the 1980s after deeming that the photos were demeaning to women.
Before 2003 some British tabloids were known to feature some 16 and 17 year old girls as topless models, many models started their topless modelling careers in red top papers when they were just 16 years old.
On 1st August 2013, at the same time as the website Sun+ was launched, the official Page 3 website became accessible to only Sun+ subscribers.
Personally I believe Page 3 to be very demeaning to women, these women are increasingly sexualised and I believe this has a serious knock on effect on other media such as some of the outfits worn by lady dancers on Strictly Come Dancing.
Wikipedia, (2015). Page 3. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Page_3 [Accessed 9 Jan. 2015].