Sunday, October 24, 2010


Hey guys. Thanks for the comments and questions Thursday. I think the paparazzi are definitely seen as parasites in photojournalism world, yet it is undeniable that they make a huge impact on society. Two of the more controversial paparazzi cases involved either Princess Diana or Britney Spears, and in the two cases, the paparazzi most likely contributed to the downfalls of both.

I'm curious if any of you find paparazzi tactics ethical or journalistic. Would any of you sell a photo of a celebrity? Would any of you decide to be a paparazzo if it was more financially secure than a more "ethical journalism" job?

Below are some interesting links I used to research the paparazzi:

Videos on celebrities and the paparazzi:

Princess Diana:
Britney Spears:


Paparazzi Salaries:

Also big are celebrity-focused blogs such as Perez Hilton's blog and, my personal favorite, Go Fug Yourself.


  1. Personally, I find celebrity-worship distasteful and distracting. I'm not sure who's to blame. The stars themselves? Most of them are just trying to do a job, even if they do have a penchant of limelight. Blame the editors of the celeb mags? They're just trying to feed the beast to keep their publications afloat. Blame the consumer masses? Sure, but no single person could make or break the industry.

    I could never be so invasive with my camera. I have a hard time photographing anyone who's unwilling, not to mention someone constantly hounded by swarms of talentless hack phot... I can't even bring myself to call them 'photographers,' much less 'journalists.'

    I definitely sympathize here: let's just let people read in peace...

  2. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I like to go to Hastings once in a while and read "Star" or "OK" or whatever mindless celebrity-focused mags are around. I don't have television and I have no clue who most of the people in the magazines are, nor do I care that much. I think it's sad that young people can name countless celebs who are famous for being famous but have no idea who important historical figures are.

    I certainly wouldn't consider that line of work to be journalism.
    I don't think I could ever take that type of job. I could never look at myself in the mirror. I suppose most of the photographers in that line of work probably felt the same way, though, before they got into it.

  3. Here is how the NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) describes a photo journalist:

    Visual journalists operate as trustees of the public. Our primary role is to report visually on the significant events and varied viewpoints in our common world. Our primary goal is the faithful and comprehensive depiction of the subject at hand. As visual journalists, we have the responsibility to document society and to preserve its history through images.

    Photographic and video images can reveal great truths, expose wrongdoing and neglect, inspire hope and understanding and connect people around the globe through the language of visual understanding. Photographs can also cause great harm if they are callously intrusive or are manipulated.

    This code is intended to promote the highest quality in all forms of visual journalism and to strengthen public confidence in the profession. It is also meant to serve as an educational tool both for those who practice and for those who appreciate photojournalism. To that end, The National Press Photographers Association sets forth the following.

    Here are the nine codes of ethics

    1) Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.

    2) Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.

    3) Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one's own biases in the work.

    4)Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.

    5) While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.

    6) Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.

    7) Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.

    8) Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.

    9) Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.

    I think #4 is a good example of why paparazzi are not journalists. "Treat all subjects with respect and dignity."

    Here is the web site for anyone who wants to check it out.

  4. I think that being a paparazzi would be a ridiculous job. It wouldn't be boring, but it wouldn't be fulfilling to me because taking a picture of celebrities while they're outside of a coffee shop, wearing sweat pants, holding a baby, and smoking a cigarette isn't newsworthy.

    Also, especially in the case of Brittany Spears, paparazzi seemed to create their own celebrity news by making them go bat-shit crazy and driving them to shave their heads, adopt a fake British accent, and then go to Vegas and have a drive-thru marriage with Kevin Federline (gross). Paparazzis are ridiculous.

  5. Along with the general consensus, I am very anti-paparazzi. I agree with Matt, it’s difficult for me to even refer to them as photo-journalists or anything associated with journalism. They don’t have training or mannerisms anywhere related to ethics or professionalism. That being said I also agree that the paparazzi aren’t the biggest part of the problem. They’re just trying to make as much money for as little work as possible, and we all know that this is a re-occurring theme in nearly all people of nearly all professions. More than anyone, it’s the consumers’ fault for providing these paparazzo’s with their income. I doubt very many people want to shove cameras into other people’s private affairs but it’s become a job for some. And although I’m sure there’s somewhat of a rush in the chase of getting these photos, it’s a rather despicable job that I would never consider being a part of.