Saturday, June 26, 2010

Media and Celebrities: What Happened to my Right to Privacy?

                                     by Djene Keita

This is a reflection on the honor study question on the issue of language and communication:
To what extent do public figures and celebrities have a right to privacy? To what extent does the media have the right to cover them?

Early every morning, we rush to get newspapers to read headlines about public figures, celebrities and recent events that have grasped our attention. We eagerly turn on the cable to watch those news channels such as New York 1, CNN, and Fox News looking forward to watch the latest news about Tiger Woods, Lindsay Lohan, and Lady Gaga etc...These 24 hours news cycles are always available to us. Unfortunately, many of us do not question the source of acquisition of the information provided to us. We just swallow whatever information is presented to us. Well, for those of you who are unaware of this, Media does everything it takes to obtain information about celebrities and target public figures. It violates their right to privacy to fulfill the public’s expectation to be fed with entertaining news.

Media companies pay a significant amount of money to have photographs and personal information about its target celebrities. Have you ever wondered how the media gets hands on the information published in newspapers, magazines, radio and television?Where do you think the New York 1; one of the most renown news channels  in the country gets those “breaking News” it releases as soon as something happens? Well, the answer is simple; they pay people who spy on target people 24/7. They are generally known as Paparazzi. Celebrities try to go about unnoticed yet, the media finds ways to locate them and be informed about what they do every single minute. By putting no limit to the extent to which those public figures and celebrities are covered, media abuses its press freedom and violates the right to privacy of others.

Media also makes a significant amount of money from releasing information about public figures and celebrities and unfortunately, the pubic contributes to boosting up its business. Our idols should be the ones making money from being covered on television and newspapers. But contrary, it is media that mostly benefits from this. Its gain explains its constant struggle to get private information about those people. The only answer I find to the question why media cares about Lindsay Lohan being an alcoholic and why Tiger Woods is unfaithful to his wife is because, we the public, spend a considerable amount of money on those magazines exclusively based on gossip and rumors about celebrities' private lives. These are private matters and they should not be made public.

Like each of us, celebrities and public figures have the right to some privacy and media companies should respect those rights by putting a limit to the extent at which these people are covered.


  1. I think celebrities sometimes likes to expose themselves to get popular amongst public. For example, I don't know why lady gaga has to wear such a kind of dress in Yankees game???

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  3. it is an invasion of privacy, we always see their faces on candid paparazzi photos; they don't look happy. But perhaps do you think it's comes with the territory and they should have thought of the consequences before pursuing fame.

  4. I would agree that Media and Celebrities benefit from each other greatly because the public will pay to see people like Paris Hilton, Gaga, and Tiger either show of new fashion, get caught in an X tape, or simply be put to shame by their own wives. People will talk about them period. Celebrities must understand that in order to break through that glass ceiling and shine, you are essentially signing a contract with the press and you will be victimized as well as gloried.

  5. I think that celebrities and media are intertwined. Indeed, I think that some celebrities like to expose themselves (e.g. they like to hang out in paparazzis' spots just to be in the limelight. I also think that once you have all these fans and these people who support you, you become a public figure and you have accommodate yourself not only with the pros, but also with the cons.
    However, I think that their children should be kept out of this and that their privacy should be respected. I feel bad for these kids who have to be "attacked" these flashs.. They are entitled to a normal life even if their parents are public figures.


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