Media Studies: Discussion about Privacy Law
In today’s world of universal access to the World Web, the issues of privacy are more important than ever before. More and more people try to become popular by demonstrating their private life to the society. On the other side, celebrities who are already known all over the world struggle against harassment and privacy invasion. This essay aims at revealing how the matters of private life can be solved in the case of famous personalities.
According to the Law of the USA, there is no established difference between public and non-public figures (Campbell, Martin, & Fabos, 2015). Thus, one cannot give special privacy rights to celebrities, politicians, etc. On the other hand, people should understand that privacy is the same human need as the necessity for security or housing. Society should be humane and think about this matter. When choosing their job, luminaries opt for their career but not the permission to invade their private life.
In my opinion, the solution to this problem lies in enforcing more stringent laws to paparazzi. There must be a defined boundary between “freedom of press” and privacy violation. Now there exist no proper legislation with regard to this issue.
One way to cope with it is to divide celebrities into a separate group, with specific rights. Questions related to their private life should be treated with each person independently. For instance, when a star wants to hide from the public view, he or she makes a declaration and journalists should stop their harassment. Otherwise, they will be punished by law.
The other way is to make the boundary, which would detach private and non-private life. For example, this frontier can define the former as the living time that begins after the end of the working day or when a celebrity crosses the threshold of his or her house.
The second way to solve the problem of privacy also defines the line between “getting the story” and harassment. In attempts to find interesting material, paparazzi can forget about all moral norms and ignore the laws. For instance, taking pictures of famous people, when they are naked must be strongly forbidden. Hence, this kind of privacy invasion is unacceptable and can be defined as harassment. On the contrary, making an article in which columnists can highlight how film stars spend their free time is something harmless and can be interpreted as a manifestation of “freedom of the press”.
Furthermore, sometimes these efforts to make a story go too far and paparazzi cause different accidents and tragedies. As an example, one can take a situation connected with Britney Spears’ breakdown (“15 Disgusting Acts of Privacy Invasion”, 2016). In 2007, the famous singer had a difficult period of her life. She divorced her husband and tried to leave her children with the mom. Britney also had some problems with drugs and all these issues caused a real mental meltdown. The celebrity shaved her head, and there was even an accident when she smashed car windows. Of course, paparazzi always followed her and made the things go even worse.
The other example is the car crash with Selena Gomez. It was in 2013 when the singer drove her automobile and collided with a parked motor vehicle while trying to evade photo cameras of journalists (Wall, 2014). No one got hurt, but who knows what will happen next time.
The last and the most terrible instance is Princess Diana’s Death. It was in the summer of 1997 when a fatal collision occurred. Princess Diana and her driver were chased by paparazzi and under unknown circumstances got into an accident (Rayner, 2007). Thus, this case like no other proves that reporters and correspondents should think about the way they do their job.
In conclusion, privacy is the human need, which should be respected and not disturbed. In spite of this, celebrities are the people who are always at risk of having their rights violated. Therefore, the effective law has to be enforced, and the society should deal with this issue.
15 Disgusting Acts of Privacy Invasion Against Celebrities. (2016, August 9). Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/most-shocking/15-disgusting-acts-of-privacy-invasion-against-celebrities/
Campbell, R., Martin, C. R., & Fabos, B. (2015). Media & Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
Rayner, G. (2007, October 10). Princess Diana: ‘Paparazzi didn’t help victims’ Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1565702/Princess-Diana-Paparazzi-didnt-help-victims.html
Wall, B. V. (2014, August 4). 6 times the paparazzi put celebrities in danger. Retrieved September 24, 2016, from http://www.j-14.com/posts/6-times-the-paparazzi-put-celebrities-in-danger-41236/photos/selena-gomez-49570.