Thursday, November 14, 2019

Media Should Respect Privacy of Public Figures Essay -- Argumentative

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... ...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.

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