Sun editor David Dinsmore sent back to school to inspire youngsters in post-hacking charm offensive

 

The editor of The Sun is to return to his old school this week as part of a charm offensive by the tabloid’s publisher, News UK, emphasising its long-term commitment to journalism in the wake of the damaging phone-hacking scandal.

David Dinsmore, 45, will go back to his alma mater, the Perthshire boarding school Strathallan, to talk to sixth-formers on Thursday about the future of the news business. Other Sun journalists have also agreed to visit their former schools.

The initiative forms part of a concerted effort by News UK to clean up its reputation after a traumatic period that saw the closure of the News of the World and the arrests of numerous Sun journalists during the ongoing Operation Elveden inquiry into bribery of public officials.

Mr Dinsmore said schoolchildren “always” asked him about the company’s recent high-profile problems and he was happy to respond. “I will always answer the questions because I think it’s interesting to discuss it.”

The school visits idea follows a campaign by i, which encouraged people from different sectors of work to return to their state schools as role models.

Delegations of News UK journalists and executives have addressed groups of schoolchildren in Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Dublin. Issues discussed have included sessions on “youth disengagement and the media” and “the responsibilities of a free press”.

Young people are encouraged to use a corporate website that encourages them to take part in a competition in celebrity reporting and offers “top tips” from senior journalists on writing stories and building contacts. It is also includes a section on legal matters, stressing “all journalists must act in accordance with the law and regulation”.

The company owned by Rupert Murdoch is investing in a News Academy for young people as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme. It will also host a summer school for young people in August.

Speaking to i, Mr Dinsmore said the News UK initiative was also designed to find potential recruits. “It’s a way of introducing people to the skills involved and how they can then get into the paper,” he said.

His visit to Strathallan, where his 16-year-old daughter Kirsty is a pupil and will be among his audience, follows his earlier participation in a News Academy event in Cardiff.

Another difficult issue for Mr Dinsmore to discuss at school next Thursday, however, might be The Sun’s coverage of the Hillsborough tragedy, after this month’s poignant 25th anniversary memorial events.

Mr Dinsmore said that The Sun had changed its stance from its notorious claim that Liverpool fans were themselves culpable for the disaster. “We… want to get to the truth of the matter because this does seem to be more and more about the police. Clearly the way in which it was reported was wrong.”

He said he would continue to seek dialogue with the families of victims, despite an ongoing hostility to the paper from Hillsborough support groups. “Nothing would please me more than to have a reconciliation and I’m always interested in any avenues that open up to do that.”

He added: “The important thing for the paper now is to keep reporting the story as it is. We certainly don’t have any agenda on Hillsborough apart from telling the story as straight as possible.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Ad Sales - UK Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global mul...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Vendor Services Manager (IT) - Central London

£50000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Vendor Services Manager (...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album