Should celebrities have greater protection from the media?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2011, 12:00am

Charmain Li, 17, Sha Tin College

Aspiring celebrities choose their career knowing full well they will be in the media spotlight. In their quest for fame, they often visit public places where they know they will be recognised. Usually their presence will spark some controversy, generating media attention.

Many celebrities use the media to promote their careers. Their success is often tied up with their ability to stay in the public eye and promote various products on the market. Therefore, I believe celebrities have no right to complain when the paparazzi follow them. They cannot crave media attention and have total privacy both at the same time.

Besides, how do we decide whether a celebrity is 'big' enough to be entitled to special legal protection not available to ordinary people?

Without the media, we would create a haven for so-called icons to deceive the public by presenting a false image of themselves. It is only fair that the media reveals both the positive and negative stories regarding celebrities. In fact, the media has a duty to reveal the truth about celebrities whose real life is often very different from what they portray.

Many celebrities are also role models for young people, who have every right to know if their idols indeed measure up to the image they project of themselves.

Of course, limits have to be set. The media should not be allowed to invade an individual's private property and disrupt their life. As long as the media follow the rules, celebrities should have no more protection from the media than the average person.

Melody Cheung, 16, St Paul's Secondary School

Gossip magazines and newspapers like to keep a close watch on the daily doings of celebrities. They do so for a simple reason: they want to attract more readers, boost their circulation, and maximise their profits.

While doing so, however, they ignore the privacy that celebrities deserve. For instance, paparazzi have a habit of using hidden cameras to photograph entertainers while they're shopping, dining, dating or even changing clothes backstage.

Some reporters even stalk celebrities and their loved ones. This causes great inconvenience to them and intrudes on their privacy.

As if that wasn't enough, some tabloids are in the habit of making up stories about the rich and the famous. Such false stories may put celebrities under unnecessary pressure and could cause them stress and emotional problems.

As the media are becoming more and more obsessed with the showbiz world, celebrities should be given more protection.

The media should respect the privacy of celebrities and understand they have the same rights as ordinary citizens. They should seek permission from celebrities before they carry out their work.

People usually argue that there is press freedom in a civilised society. But there should be a clear line about how far reporters should be allowed to go in doing their work. They have the right to report on important news but they should act more responsibly. They should strive to treat all citizens equally and fairly.