A former editor of FHM has given his backing to the campaign for The Sun to drop its Page Three photos of topless models.
FHM editor from 2004-2007 Ross Brown, now group editor of Accelerated Intelligence, was speaking at a City University journalism department debate, hosted by Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford last night.
Asked by postgraduate student Camilla Turner if he backed the Take the Bare Boobs Out of The Sun campaign, he joked: “When I got into FHM [in 1998] it was a different magazine. The ABC was about 775,000 – one in ten people in Britain read it – and it really wasn’t the kind of pornographic tawdry rubbish that I turned it into when I became editor. It was a lovely magazine – it really was.
“And now that I’m a grown-up, and I launched Shortlist magazine – which is very, very different to FHM – I look back at it and you can’t defend the indefensible. I think there’s a time and a place – and we’re past it.”
Asked by Turner whether he backed the campaign, he said: “Only because I’m old. I bet if I was 16 I’d love it.”
He added: “One of my best friends is the editor of Nuts and we spend much of our time arguing. I think it’s just reached a point where it’s readily accessible porn, from Page Three to Nuts. And we’re past that."
Brown was at FHM for ten years, starting out on work experience and becoming editor within six years.
So far 47,000 people have signed a petition urging to Sun editor Dominic Mohan to stop publishing topless photos of women on Page Three of his paper.
Last night's discussion, entitled Making Work Experience Work, featured a panel of journalists who have found jobs in journalism after first doing unpaid work experience. Alongside Brown was BBC technology reporter Dave Lee, Financial Times graduate trainee Duncan Robinson and Marketing Week reporter Lara O'Reilly.