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氏 is cut out for public figures and さん is for ordinary people. さん could convey a slightly respectful nuance and that can more or less hurt fairness that newspapers must hold. (I find the order in the link determined firstly in terms of formality and that of respectfulness is secondary.)


As I'm not a native speaker, my opinion is hardly useful. However, here are links that probably have the answer that you want: As per the accepted answer to using 美化語{びかご} in 謙譲語{けんじょうご} verb forms does not make sense, right?, your assertion that " I know that adding お makes it honorific, but ... " does not seem correct. A native speaker discussion of what ...

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