In a speech later, David Yelland is expected to accuse newspapers of censoring debate on the Leveson Report and its proposals for new press rules.
He will warn the public could end up with less protection than before. A year on from the Leveson Report, he will say editors must show humility and acknowledge how much power they have. Mr Yelland, who edited the Sun from 1998 until the end of 2002, will give the Leveson Anniversary Lecture at the Free World Centre in London.
During the speech he is expected to say the British press needs “truth and reconciliation” to rebuild its reputation.
He will say the Leveson Report has been misrepresented in parts of the press and will argue that its recommendations “make sense”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme ahead of the speech, Mr Yelland said it is “undeniable” that the press has been unfair in what it has chosen to publish or not publish.
“Its most potent weapon is to totally ignore something,” he said.
In his speech he will say editors need to show humility for the good of the journalists they lead, and will criticise those who shout and bully and pretend they are always right.
And he will call on editors and proprietors to acknowledge how much power they wield in British public life.
Mr Yelland told the Today programme that his experience of editing The Sun showed him that it was “an immense responsibility”.
He said that the UK produces great journalists and yet “in many ways journalists in this country have been a little bit like lions led by donkeys”.