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Celebrity Journalism. The real, the fake, and the in Between. By: Carla Marie Monica & Shaina Wizov. Statistics. 40% of the public believes there is too much celebrity news 87% believe celebrity scandals receive too much coverage 54% blame news organizations 34% blame the public

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celebrity journalism
Celebrity Journalism

The real, the fake, and the in Between

By: Carla Marie Monica & Shaina Wizov

  • 40% of the public believes there is too much celebrity news
  • 87% believe celebrity scandals receive too much coverage
    • 54% blame news organizations
    • 34% blame the public
    • 12% blame both
is it really journalism
Is it Really Journalism?
  • John Bell from Elvis Duran & the Morning Show: “It’s not journalism, it’s pure entertainment. Journalism is to inform the public on information they need to know in order to go about their lives; for example, the recession and bankruptcy that’s going on right now. The purpose is to help the public and the paparazzi are doing far from that when they talk about how many drinks Lindsay Lohan had last night”
public figures
Public Figures
  • TMZ’s Harvey Levine said “We cover sports figures, chefs, and people who are famous for all sorts of reasons . . . and some of them are in politics”
  • TMZ followed Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa as he took various women on dates - they dubbed him “Mayor Suave”
anti paparazzi law
Anti-Paparazzi Law
  • California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a new bill last month
  • It will fine paparazzi for taking photos that invade a celebrity’s right to privacy
  • The law will also target media outlets who purchase the photos
  • The law goes into effect in January
tainted vision
Tainted Vision
  • Paparazzi reputation is scarring the image of the journalist
  • When Princess Diana died it was said that paparazzi aided in the accident
  • Photographers and journalists working for news outlets in small town America were cursed by passers-by as “the killers of Di”
journalism at its finest
Journalism at its Finest
  • NBC & CBS both aired segments about the Michael Jackson child molestation case in 2003
  • Networks had an unwritten rule; “real news shouldn’t mix with entertainment”
  • The stations allegedly violated a journalistic code of ethics by offering payment to an interviewee
  • Seeks the truth and provides fair accounts of events and issues
  • Minimize harm
  • Act independently
  • Be accountable
  • Focuses on serious issues
  • Informs the public of important information related to their health and well-being
  • Doesn’t act aggressively and is respectful of those they cover
  • Jeopardize public health with irresponsible practices and the transmission of potentially harmful content
  • Provide pictures that may be misleading
  • Invade celebrities’ and their families’ privacy
  • Disclose information that may be harmful to reputation or career
journalists vs paparazzi
Journalists vs. Paparazzi
  • Though Paparazzi don’t follow the ethics of journalism, they are still “reporting” to the people - no matter how frivolous or insignificant the information may be.
celebrities in the spotlight
Celebrities in the Spotlight
  • Celebrities chose a career that requires them to be in the public eye and receive a lot of attention.
  • They are “asking for it.”
  • If a celebrity stays out of the media, they could become unrecognizable and someone could steal their spotlight
  • Any publicity is good publicity if it keeps your name in lights!
celebrities in the spotlight1
Celebrities in the Spotlight
  • Freelance Journalist and former NJ Lifestyle editor, Felicia Niven
  • “Learning the details of a celebrity’s life helps keep them on the ‘A’ list of popularity. Reclusive celebrities are portrayed as more negative.”
privacy concerns
Privacy Concerns
  • “They ask for it” - they do not ask to be “working” or in the public eye 24/7/365
  • The constant spotlight can hurt celebrities mentally
  • They cannot live normal lives, they can’t have innocent fun or be an average parent
why cover celeb news
Why Cover Celeb News?
  • Free speech and Free Press give journalists the right to write about whatever they want.
  • Competition with other news outlets. If you don’t report it, someone else will.
  • People are fascinated with celebrity lifestyle.
  • Originated with photographers capturing old Hollywood celebrities on camera
celebrities in the spotlight2
Celebrities in the Spotlight
  • Z100 co-host Danielle Monaro:
  • “People want to know, crave to know what celebrities are doing because it’s not your life. They have money, glamour. We don’t live that life. They date each other, they pop babies out left and right. You just can’t believe what they do.”
  • Timeliness
  • Significance
  • Proximity
  • Prominence
  • Human Interest
celeb scandals do they matter
Celeb Scandals: Do They Matter?


Love Triangle

Jen’s Panty Picture

celeb scandals do they matter1
Celeb Scandals: Do They Matter?

LiLo: DUI, relationships, crotch shot, daddy drama, etc.

celeb scandals do they matter2
Celeb Scandals: Do They Matter?

Mel Gibson: Intoxicated anti-Semitic rant

celeb scandals do they matter3
Celeb Scandals: Do They Matter?

Madonna: Simulated masturbation on stage during her Blond Ambition Tour

celeb scandals do they matter4
Celeb Scandals: Do They Matter?



Controversial award show performances

celeb scandals do they matter5
Celeb Scandals: Do They Matter?

Tiger Woods: car accident?

what do you think
What do you think?
  • Do you think celebrity coverage is journalistic?
  • If you saw your favorite celeb cheating on their spouse, would you take a picture? If so, what would you do with the picture?
  • If you were a paparazzo, where would you draw the line?
  • Is celebrity coverage ethical?
  • How do you think the anti-paparazzi law will affect celebrity coverage?
  • Should public figures be covered as entertainment?