19.9.05

Sex, drugs and privacy

Managing privacy by press release is proving as effective as protecting it through the courts.

Read MediaBeak's full analysis on MediaGuardian HERE

As "cocaine Kate" jets off to lie low on Ibiza and ReneƩ Zellweger provides us with an explanation of the term "fraud" we are seeing an interesting development in managing the relationship between celebrities and press when it comes to privacy.

While their professions may have brought them fame as they tread the world's catwalks or red carpets, the attendant media attention has made them into celebrities. It is the subtle distinction between fame and celebrity that turns the attention away from their livelihoods and puts the focus on their lives. They are no longer mere models or actresses but have become celebrities. When it comes to distinctions between their professional and private lives the press no longer have to apply for a pass to gain access to all areas.

With celebrities providing so much to kiss, smoke, snort and tell about, the media are revelling in this self-made market of celebrity sensation. While tabloids are suffering a slump in circulation, celebrity magazines are peddling their pictures and gossip to an expanding market. Defying the sceptics, Heat magazine has survived and recently been joined by Grazia to sit on the shelf of "lifestyle" titles.

The irony is that it is someone else's lifestyle they're selling and we're ultimately paying for. If they cut out the news sections and stuck to celebrity pictures and sport, the tabloids might strike a winning formula. Some might argue that the Daily Star is already experimenting along such lines with its front page offerings to "win a date" with Abi Titmuss.

When it comes to the likes of David Beckham the media can have it both ways with reports on the footballer's home games for Real Madrid resulting in less coverage than alleged away games in his private life.

In the wake of recent court battles such as Naomi Campbell's battle with the Mirror ("cocaine Kate" obviously made for a better headline than "cocaine Naomi" but "cocaine Campbell" might have caught on) or Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas's spat with Hello, there have been no real winners.

The uncertainty of the law on privacy resulted in these cases being shunted between courts where judges gave conflicting opinions as to the law and their rights under it.

The underlying legal principles of balancing the human rights of individuals to privacy against the freedom of the press to publish and expose matters in the public interest are being undermined by the money.

MORE:
FULL article from MediaGuardian HERE

Kate Moss wins libel damages over 'cocaine coma' story
This is not the first time Kate Moss has been accused of having a penchant for cocaine. Back in July she secured substantial libel damages from the Sunday Mirror over a story that claimed she'd collapsed in a cocaine-fuelled coma in 2001. The story proved unsubstantiated and the paper was forced to pay. Details HERE

Naomi Campbell v Mirror more HERE and HERE
Douglas v Hello more HERE and HERE

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Roberto Iza Valdes said...
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Roberto Iza Valdes said...
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