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Media Should Respect Privacy of Public Figures

The Media Should Respect Privacy of Public Figures

How much privacy of the individual is protected under the United States Constitution? Every one is entitled to the right of privacy, but to what extent is that privacy granted? Public figures are constantly being harassed and photographed by the media. Some photographers and reporters will go to any means, even illegal actions, to get a picture or story. However, public figures are human beings like everyone else, and the media should give them more privacy. The media needs to operate with more respect for both laws and for moral and ethical codes of conduct. There are laws establishing the privacy of an individual, and the media needs to extend these rights to public figures.

Are public officials entitled to private lives? The answer, up until two generations ago was a clear yes (Knowlton, 51). President Franklin D. Roosevelt used a wheel chair or braces, but that disability was rarely mentioned and almost never photographed. Many previous presidents were unfaithful to their wives, but the media did not cover these affairs that were common knowledge to the press corps (Knowlton, 51). However, the extramarital affairs of President Clinton are being widely covered by the media. The ethical code of conduct has fallen apart, and the media has new views on the amount of privacy that should be extended to public figures.

According to Steven Knowlton, author of Moral Reasoning for Journalists, “Celebrities of all sorts-musicians, athletes, entertainers, and others-make their living from the public and the public therefore in a sense employs them, just as it employs governors and presidents…”(54). Most journalists figure that celebrities voluntarily surrender their pr…

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…ion in a home or other private place. Even though these are not currently illegal actions, the media should act as if they were. Like other people, public figures should be able to separate their job from their family and personal lives. When public figures are spending time with their families, they should not be harassed by the media; intrusions on the privacy of celebrities are intrusions on the privacy of everyone.

Works Cited

Claffey, Mike and Tumposky, Ellen. “Sadness, Anger Toward Photographers Follows Diana’s Death. Witchita Eagle. 31 August 1997.

Dill, Barbara. The Journalist’s Handbook on Libel and Privacy. New York. 1986.

Knowlton, Steven R. Moral Reasoning for Journalists. Connecticut. 1997.

Smolla, Rodney A. Suing the Press. New York. 1986.

Sunstein, Cass R. “Reinforce the Walls of Privacy.” The New York Times. 6 September 1997.

Film Ratings Should Not Substitute Parental Guidance

Outline I. Introduction – History of the rating system and the MPAA (parag.1-2) II. Thesis paragraph (3) THESIS: By wearing a mask of deceiving helpfulness, the current system hijacks the role of the parent in choosing what is acceptable for our youth III. Current process and definitions of ratings (4) IV. The rating system is harmful to our children A. Ratings do not accurately reflect harmful, frightening images (5) B. The harmful effects of violence are inaccurately reflected in ratings (6) C. The ratings board makes many assumptions regarding what is acceptable in terms of sexual situations (7) V. Many parents realize it is flawed but accept it anyway (8) VI. Money is the cause of the poor application of the rating system A. Filmmakers desire, and receive certain ratings to make more money (9) B.An appeal process is sometimes very lenient (10) C. Large studios are much more likely to receive favorable ratings than smaller, independent filmmakers (11) VII. Need for a good rating system (12) Wes Craven is a Hollywood director who works primarily with the horror genre. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) routinely gives his films R ratings because of their intense violence and gore. While very few people would argue with these ratings, Craven is critical of the MPAA: “We of course do not have government censors-that would be totalitarian. It would also be unnecessary. What we do have is the MPAA. The MPAA purportedly exists to save us from having government censorship. It does that by . . . well, censoring us before the state does” (10). Censorship is an issue… … middle of paper … …hree Decades of Film Censorship. . .Right Before Your Eyes.” Humanist 60.1 (2000): 9-13. Academic Search Elite. Palni SiteSearch. Goshen College Good Library. 11 Mar. 2001. Schroeder, Ken. “In Brief. . .Rating TV Ratings.” Education Digest 62.6 (1997): 73-75. Academic Search Elite. Palni SiteSearch. Goshen College Good Library. 11 Mar. 2001. Valenti, Jack. “Hollywood, the Rating System and the Movie-Going Public.” USA Today Magazine Sept. 1993: 87. Academic Search Elite. Palni SiteSearch. Goshen College Good Library. 11 Mar. 2001. Wilson, Barbara J., Daniel Linz, and Barbara Randall. “Applying Social Science Research to Film Ratings: A Shift From Offensiveness to Harmful Effects.” Journal of Broadcasting

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