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ETHICS AND THE PAPARAZZI
Transcript of ETHICS AND THE PAPARAZZI
AND THE PAPARAZZI
Demand for 'gossip' from the public has created jobs for the paparazzi
Target celebrities who usually consider paps as pests
Paparazzi can go to some extremes which present ethical dilemmas within their profession
These include invasion of privacy and intrusion as well as the potential for causing harm
Photographers who target people in the public eye
eg. Movie/TV stars, athletes, politicians, royals
Photojournalists or 'tainting' the industry?
Many paparazzi are freelance workers -
"an increasing problem, particularly as freelancers have more to gain by being more intrusive and have a higher commercial imperative to get the story"
No loyalty to the media proprietors
Can go to further extremes
Contemporary celebs "will be highly visible through the media; and their private lives will attract greater public interest than their professional lives" (Turner, 2004)
Paparazzi's job to get these photos that will interest the public
Invasion of Privacy
'The right of Privacy' - Warren and Brandeis 1890
"the right of the individual to be left alone"
and "not to have public attention focused upon one uninvited" (Brenn, 1971)
Notion of privacy "think about it in it's most straightforward sense as one's physical space" (Sanders, 2003)
Form of invasion of privacy
Intrusion big issue with paparazzi
Photographing someone is intrusion "if it encroaches on someone's private space, whether through unwanted close physical contact or through photographing someone in their home from a distance" (Arts & Business,
"invasive paparazzi climbed over the wall of his Italian home and shot a topless photo of a 13-year-old girl changing in one of his guest rooms."
Jackie Kennedy Onassis got restraining order against Ron Galella for being intruding and aggressive and putting her and her children in danger
"For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily... Spat at, verbally abused... I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal."
Potential Harm of Paparazzi
Intrusion and harassment of paparazzi can have harmful consequences both mentally and physically
"Avoiding harm entails not injuring or doing wrong or evil to others" (Klaidman & Beauchamp, 1987)
Affects not only celebrities themselves, but also family
Halle Berry, American actress claimed "her daughter, Nahla, has suffered 'emotional distress' and 'so much trauma' as a result of aggressive paparazzi"
She became significant backer of 'anti-paparazzi' bill which became law in September
Will limit paparazzi's ability to photograph children of stars
"It lays out penalties for taking photos and video of a child without parental consent and in a harassing manner."
Death of Princess Diana
How responsible were the paparazzi?
Paparazzi chasing car caused driver to drive too quickly and caused crash
Photographers at scene of crash before police and ambulances
"Paparazzi were already taking pictures of the wrecked Mercedes and were making no attempt to help the victims inside."
'Co-dependent relationship' Argument
Paparazzi help keep celebrities relevant and famous
"It is hard to see how many of these celebrities would have the career they have without publicity concerning their private lives" (Kieran, 1997)
"We live in a society in which many people depend on publicity to make a living. Politicians, television celebrities, pop stars and sports personalities can't do without it" (Sanders, 2003)
Celebs are asking for it
(Sanders, 2003) believes that celebrities forfeit the right to privacy
(Nordhaus, n.d.) disagrees and states that they are entitled to the same general right of privacy as all other individuals
Even if they do help celebrities' careers, should they go to such extremes to get the photos they want?
By Eleanor Selfe
Frightening for celebrities
Attacked to get a 'better' photograph
Also affects their friends and family as well as innocent civilians
The camera is the paparazzi's justification for their actions
"Breach of privacy is the publication of private matters; intrusion is the way those enquiries are carried out" (Frost, 2007)
Paparazzi do help keep celebrities relevant but they can go too far when obtaining photos
It is unethical to breach privacy eg. houses and personal space
Constant harassment can harm them and others mentally and physically
Unable to live normal lives
Invading into their family life - putting their children in danger - they didn't ask for the spotlight
Anti-Paparazzi law is helping the issue but public will always crave celebrity gossip which fuels the paparazzi's career
Unlikely they will change their style
Frost, C., (2007). Journalism Ethics and Regulation (2nd ed.). Pearson Education Limited: Essex.
Kieran, M., (1997). Media Ethics: A Philosophical Approach. Praeger: Westport.
Klaidman, S., and Beauchamp, T. L., (1987). The Virtuous Journalist. Oxford University Press: New York.
Nordhaus, J. E., (n.d.). Celebrities Right To Privacy: How Far Should the Paparazzi Be Allowed To Go? Available at: <http://www.asc.upenn.edu/usr/ogandy/c734%20resources/celebrities%20rights%20-%20nordhaus.pdf> [Accessed 29th November]
Privacy and Photography Available at <http://www.artsandbusinessphila.org/pvla/documents/PrivacyPhotography.pdf> [Accessed 28 November]
Sanders, K., (2003). Ethics and Journalism. Sage: London.
Turner, G., (2004). Understanding Celebrity. Sage: London.