The paparazzi are photographers who will certainly do anything to achieve their aim, gaining the profit from the photos of famous people and their families. They sell the photos to tabloids or anyone else who is willing to pay them a high price. (** Thesis Statement) This report will discuss and examine an opportunity of whether paparazzi could be seen one day in Thailand. Firstly, it will remind us the significant power of media in the present world and explain how people who relate to the process of generating the media unexpectedly support the paparazzi initiation in the media world. Furthermore the report will reveal the origin of the word “paparazzi” that was released first time in Italy and shortly expanded across the country in the negative terms. Then it will refer to some of apparently violent cases from the celebrities who became unfortunate victims of paparazzi; Princess Diana and Catherine Zeta Jones with her husband – Michael Douglas. It will then talk about the media ethics, moral, the definition of privacy and human rights, including show the conflict of celebrities privacy and public rights to know the celebrities lives. Lastly this report will offer the idea of the paparazzi motivation of who support their actions; the readers, the media commercial agency and paparazzi themselves.
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The Media Power in the Present World
In the modern world we are undeniable against the media power in the present world which nearly absolutely influence on our life and society. Everyday we get the instant information from all over the world through media; newspaper, magazine, television, and Internet. The media already globalize industry, which provided us the interesting and updated news in our society. The information that the media give us is necessary for our daily life and the future life decision. We watch television, read newspaper and magazine for entertainment, knowledge and updated events of running world. We access the Internet with overwhelming information and business issue. Each of generation consumes the product from media in the difference ways. Technology development contributes the media to become the important part of our lives. Everything and every events happen around us are brought to people’s acknowledgement so fast since the technology has stepped into the advance level such as some of equipments like digital camera, live news report via Internet and satellite network. Because of those high advantages of media technology, some questions will follow along; how we can manage or what we should manage with the media for proper influence on our lives when the world exists in the plentiful Information Age.
“Marshall Macluhan pointed out that these new media links have reshaped the world “ in the images of a global village”. The people in media direction need to adapt their roles following the world as well. If the public have interest to know anything, they will quickly respond to find out for them. Even though their behavior or their ways to get that desire for the public lacking of ethic and moral of mass media convention, they will be careless for those kinds of abstract things except their benefit.
The paparazzi who is relevant in the media line trying to take photo of the celebrities for selling to media commercial agency. Both of paparazzi and agency get high profit for their work that is why the paparazzi grow up in the media world
The word paparazzo were first released on Italian film “ La Dolee Vita” in 1960. La Dolee vita, it was the story of one tired journalist, Marcello, and his photographer, “Paparazzo”.********************** Federico Fellini who was director of the film describes the word of paparazzo; “ Paparazzo suggests to me a buzzing insect, hovering darting stinging. Moreover, Fellini drew a picture of the paparazzo’s character that looks like a vampirish insectile, implied that paparazzi is like mosquitoes and also parasites. After that, “ Paparazzi” is a word to explain the behavior of photographers who chase up the celebrities to get the information about them to reveal in the public the same as the act on film.( Jennifer,1994)
However, the word paparazzi in the English language did not relate to “ La Dolee Vita”. It was released in an article, “ Paparazzi on the Prowl” on Time magazine in United States in 1961. The article explained “ a ravenous wolf pack of freelance photographers who stalk big names for a living and fire with flash guns at a point blank,” with groups of paparazzi picture was blocking Prince’s car visiting Rome. From the time, paparazzi shortly expanded into the part of mass media and across the public all over the world. ( 1994)
Some cases of the celebrities whom are a victim of paparazzi:
Princess Diana’s death was the tragic event for a whole world. Paparazzi are being the accuse of social in the incident. Princess Diana died on 31 august 1997 and it became hot issue denouncing an ugly of paparazzi behavior. Because of escape a group of paparazzi during traveling in Paris, the car that she had been in got an accident. (Edwin, 1999)
According to the article “ Who shares the Blame?” on TIME magazine in the issue September 15th, the paparazzi followed Princess Diana and her rich boy friend, Dodi al Fayed, after they left a restaurant where they had a dinner together. A group of paparazzi chased up Diana’s car, Mercedes Benz, into the darkness of night, so the driver, Paul, lost control the car and crashed into the side of the tunnel. The car hit the other side of the tunnel and the wall. There are four persons in the car; three of them, Diana, Dodi and Paul died in the crash. The fourth person is a bodyguard who was still alive. Lacayo writes, “The speedometer was frozen on impact at 120 mph.” Dodi’s family denied that statement and they said it was on zero. The French police refuse to confirm officially either claim…and police speculate that the Mercedes arrived at the tunnel entrance…. at about 80 to 100 m.p.h.(Richard, 1997 )The CBS News reported paparazzi were at the scene of the accident ,but they did not help her and the others in the car. They snatched for taking a photo of the dying princess instead.
It is believed the driver was speeding to avoid the paparazzi, who were chasing them on motorcycle. If the paparazzi had not chased Diana that night for special one shot, she would be alive today. This is the reason the paparazzi are being blamed for the death of Diana. Another speculation is that when the paparazzi flashed their cameras in the dark night, it may have blinded the driver. (http///: www.Kirtland.cc.mi.us/~chronicl/oct97p4.html)
Catherline Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas
Not only Princess Diana was disturbed, but the others celebrities are also invaded by paparazzi. For example, Catherline Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas got to a photographer sneaked into their wedding in 2000. Zeta Jones told that she was once scared by photographer who jumped out of the night time to get a shot of her. Another time , she crashed her car into a lamp post as the result of trying to escape from a paparazzi. Now there is a new breed of photographers, know as the paparazzi, that are hated by most movie stars and other famous people alike.
Media problem :Privacy, human rights and ethic
As we see from some of celebrities cases who are a victim of the hunter I the name of paparazzi. I think it is a good opportunity to examine the ethical and moral consciousness for the role of the mass communication operation. There are many reproach against paparazzi of their behavior ravaging into the society. Someone propose to issue a law to prevent and limit the terrible danger that may happen when the paparazzi follow the celebrities. It is not wrong for photographers to take pictures of the famous people, but it is wrong to take pictures without their permission. The lack of privacy and human right realization of media may cause the paparazzi problem.
Privacy is an ambiguous concept that is not easy to define. “One common view is that the right to have privacy means the right to be left alone or control unwanted publicity about one personal affairs. In contrast, the media are in the business of not leaving people alone. Their duties are in the direction of revelation, not concealment”. (**) Thus, the balance of the individual’s interest in privacy is against the interest of the public in derivative of information. The public right to know can cause the conflicts with the individual rights. Where should the lines be drawn as to what is permitted and what is not? That is still being question among people into the media line.
There is always a serious problem to debate about the right of the public to know and the right of the individual to deserve privacy.
Nowadays, the press freedom directly invade into the privacy and human rights, but some privacy are essentially attacked for the news informing to the public. The gossips news photographers such paparazzi ought to concerns a choice between what he saw as his respectable job and the privacy of one’s conscience.
As the influence of mass communication constantly widely spread and almost touch in every parts of society. It is important that the mass media should be more concerned in ethics and morality as well. That is the best way to reduce the conflict between journalists and the person who is a source of the news. Richard Johannesen defines ethics in the concept of responsibility in his book Ethics in Human Communication, stated that “responsibility includes the elements of fulfilling duties and obligations, of being accountable to the other individuals and groups, and of being accountable as evaluated by agreed up on standards…That is, the responsible communicator would carefully analyze claims, soundly assess probable consequences, and conscientiously weigh relevant values. In a sense, a responsible communicator is responseable. She or he exercise the ability to and communication of others in sensitive, thoughtful, fitting ways” (**). On the other hand, we can think of mass media ethics is the great “responsibility” on the part of both media creators and consumers.
The real motivation
What is the real motivation of the paparazzi performance?. The photographers, the celebrities, the media agency or the people who buy the newspaper and magazine. All of these may be a good answer as we can consider the role of them to be a paparazzi supporter.
The people who used to buy or consume the information of the celebrities and show the picture to their friend and family. They are the one of the motive part, sharing the responsibility for the celebrities invasion, accuse of promoting paparazzi behavior. For instance, Sue Cater, associate professor of journalism at Michigan State University, claims that the paparazzi is a segment of journalism who drive the market. The larger of the demand is the more aggressive paparazzi. She said that “ the people who buy paparazzi material are taking a role in the entire process”. Moreover, Because of curiosity of human nature, we love and crazy superstars and the famous person, so we need to know about their lifestyle or some secret . That is the cause of paparazzi spy on people and show the secret picture in the public.
The second person of the real motivation is the media agency. Society pointed at the media blame them with creating a market for the celebrities report. In highly competition into the mass media environment , the agency decided to take time and find out what can make the high profit. The media; magazine ,newspaper , television use the gossip of the celebrities for sale and attract the consumers by showing the photo of them such as Hollywood gossip. According to Charles Spencer, Diana’s brother used to blame in the media “ Every proprietor and editor of every publication that have paid for the intrusive and exploitative photographs of her has blood on his hands”. It show us in the sense of some guilty of the media that hold with the paparazzi and let them make the cruel benefit to their companies. They spend a lot of money about hundreds and thousands of dollars to get the perfect of the celebrities shot for printing or present on their work.
The last one is the paparazzi themselves as they are always in the role of hunter. The bad effect easily occur when they stalk the celebrities. They make a career for earn money and the agency give high price for the best shot. For example, the picture of Diana and Dodi, kissing on the yacht in St.Tropez viila in July 1997, sold in the United States for 200,000 dollars, or the picture of the Diana’s car crash were offered for one million dollars around the world. When they get the high income for one job and there will be the group of agency who need the photo to display to the public, so paparazzi eager to risk everything for one shot that can make them to be a millionaires.
Why do the idea of Thai paparazzi emergence come out?
Since Twentieth century, the fifth information revolution in Asia, “digital electronic revolution,” effect on Thai mass media. Moreover, the economic crisis in 1995 forced Thai media developed their own organization and company stability. The globalization connect the media in each of country into the similar system.
Naturally, Thai media had to adapt themselves as well. There are many ways that Thai media using to modernize. The one way is to copy the foreign method for management and presentation of information and use the role model international media to produce their work . For example , The reporters of channel 3 report news the same style as CNN. They did not merely copy the style of news report, but also imitated the idea or concept of T.V program such as millionaire game. Thus the entertainment news were created in the same way of the western. It has the sorts of stars gossip program on every Thai television.
Almost of Thai people are interested in the media for entertainment. The private media company can make a lot of money per a year. Present Thai media today enter into the game of business world, so the goal to report also change to respond the high competition. They do not concern in the ethics or moral consciousness. The aim of the company is to succeed in the best seller or the highest rating instead. The economic can bring the paparazzi to be new group in Thai media, if no name photographer take a photo of Thai celebrities or star, the editor of the entertainment magazine may decide to inform it to the public. Furthermore Thai people love to know about the personal affairs of the celebrities.
Additionally Thai fan club who get crazy of popular idol is the other factor to support paparazzi in Thailand. When Thai teens love pop singer or superstar they will follow their favorite superstar to everywhere and take a photo of them for every shots by digital camera. After that the fan club of popular idol produce the website on the Internet. This action is like the behavior of paparazzi, but they do not sell the picture. On the other hand, some of them just desire to keep for their collection. Thai people always admit the western culture into the society and the beginning of paparazzi taken in Europe. Some people favor foreign movie star and popular singers point to Thai press freedom.
As I say that is the tendency of paparazzi coming out one day in Thailand and there are many interesting situations motivating the new career, paparazzi, in Thai media. In case that Thai society still need to carry on facing the mistreated way upon media management of both Thai media generator and Thai media consumer, we will inevitably encounter the new undesirable race of Thai media creator – paparazzi. All of these reasons; power of media in the present world, curiosity in human nature, lacking of rules and respect in privacy and human rights create the idea of Thai paparazzi is going to be born in Thai Mass Media Circle to me.
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