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    Monday, 9 July 2007

    'Its all back on'!: the renewal of hostility between press and palace (sic)

    Some time ago I commented on the withdrawal of a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission by Kate Middleton against the Daily Mirror, and how this had let the regulator out of a difficult predicament. Well, according to the Guardian, Ms Middleton is still facing regular pursuit by the paparazzi to the point were she has made formal complaints to the police.

    Interesting excerpts from the article include quotations from the photographers involved - "we are sorry Kate we are having to do this, the newspapers are all pressing us for photographs"; "we are not doing so [stopping] because we know you aren't going to do anything" - and more importantly, the idea that the PCC has been deploying its behind-the-scenes entreaties to warn off editors. Clearly these injunctions are falling on deaf ears, which somewhat gives the lie to the PCC's regular claims over the effectiveness of this persuasive capacity. Oh, and there's also a repeat of recent reports that Kate and William are an item once again... who said the broadsheets haven't gone tabloid!


    flylse said...

    Paparazzi and press freedom
    Kate Middleton has made complaints to police for the harassment of paparazzi, according to the report by the GuardianGuardian. Before this, Middleton had complained to the press self-regulator Press Complaints Commission (PCC), but withdrew her complaint after the paper's editor made a public apology. but it seems that the paparazzi was still there purusing her, in particular after she was reported to have resumed relationship with Prince William.
    So who should be blamed in the saga?
    One prevailing opinion is that the celebrity, having benefited a lot from being in the spotlight, should put up with paparazzi. It may be true, since celebrity gets a lot of nice things, but on the other hand, press also keeps their money-making machine working through the coverage of celebrities. There is actually a symbotic relationship between press and celebrity.
    Some media often justify their coverage of celebrity on the grounds of public interest. The term"public interest" is actually hard to define. But this ambiguousness is what media like so that they could have a lot of elbow room to manouvre. A clearly and precisely defined "public interest" would be the last thing on the mind of the media.
    Press freedom is another defense often deployed by media. The press is self-regulated not least because they cry out for freedom of expresssion which is enshrined in the European 1998 Human Rights Act. But sometimes, the press freedom could be abused by the press so that the celebrity is unfairly victimised.
    There is no doubt that we need uphold the freedom of press, which is regarded as the Fourth Estate of our society and could serve as check and balance on other power. However, I can't see any good reason for defending the freedom of paparazzi pursuing something trivial or private about the celebrities. Are the paparazzi playing the role of the Fourth Estate? Are they helping promoting the social cause or checking other social powers?I doubt it!
    I have a lot of respect for an American TV presenter, who refused to read twice the report on Paris Hilton who had just finished her about twenty-day jail. Credit to her. Our media is too obsessed with celebrity, which means less attention and resources could be alloted to those which could be more important to a country, a nation, and a society.
    Of course, the commercial media need those stuff on celebrity, because it fits well with the ideology of the media owners, who are trying to promote people to seek money and other material happiness. In this context, the press freedom is actually hijacked by the media owners.
    So I support restraints on press report on celebrity, although some celebrities, though keep complainging on being harassed by paparazzi, might glare at me angrily.

    Andrew Scott said...

    In its report published today, the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee drew some interesting conclusions in this regard. It found that "the press did not observe its own Code of Practice in relation to Ms
    Middleton. Editors failed to take care not to use pictures obtained through harassment and
    persistent pursuit. The response of the Press Complaints Commission was less than
    impressive: it waited for a complaint to be made on Ms Middleton’s behalf but could have
    intervened sooner by issuing a desist notice to editors