At a time when the conduct and the ethics of the red-top press (and others) is under the lens of the Leveson inquiry, the British press is defending tabloids in the wake of the conviction of two of Stephen Lawrence's killers.
The Guardian published an editorial - taken up by PressGazette's blog - which praised the Daily Mail for its coverage (entirerly summerized by the Mail itself here), starting from the famous page one accusation back in 1997. "It did not simply keep the case in the public eye. It also became a national reprimand to the criminal justice and political system in a wider sense", the editorial said.
"The Daily Mail deserves credit for its courageous campaign", the Financial Times underlighted.
The Prime Minister David Cameron also praised the contribution of the "the campaigning journalism of the Daily Mail, which put this issue front and centre", Journalism.co.uk reported.
Going further Jonathan Freedland on the Guardian wrote a "defence of Britain's tabloid newspapers". Despite what some might expect, there's more than sleaze and celebrity in tabloids, Freedland said, citing as example the coverage of a Daily Mail copy picked at random ("Maybe that was not a typical day", he admitted) featuring stories about George Osborne, Picasso's etchings and the British embassy in Tehran.
"And it's not just the Mirror. It won't appeal to many Guardian readers, but Trevor Kavanagh writes serious, informed political commentary in the Sun, while it was the dreaded News of the World which revealed the Pakistani spot-fixing scandal, an important and wholly legitimate story", Freedland added.
Broadsheets should be more honest - the journalist continued - and admit that they do mix serious news with entertainment (in the guise of sport or sex feature "regularly in the Guardian's most viewed stories online") albeit in a less cheeky and loud way than the tabloids do.
Given that a key democratic value is spreading knowledge as widely as possible, Britain needs its popular press, now more than ever, he concluded.