Even Public Figures Have A Right To Privacy Essays


Some people believe that media should be allowed to publish information about the private lives of famous people. Others say that everybody has a right to privacy and this practice must be controlled or even stopped. Discuss both views.

This essay topic was asked in an IELTS test held in Iran in November 2014.

Sample response

We are living in a celebrity obsessed world where everything that famous people do or say makes headlines. If media publishes stories about the private lives of the rich and the famous, that is because there is an audience for them. People want to know what celebrities do, say, wear, eat and drink. Media merely satisfies this need because it makes sound business sense for them.

Public personalities also have a private life that they want to shield from others. Just because they are famous, the media doesn’t have the right to publish all sorts of personal information about them. It has now become fashionable to publish photos and stories that are demeaning to famous people. This trend must be condemned. Everybody has flaws; however, when a celebrity exhibits them it becomes news. People get some weird pleasure from knowing that these famous men and women that they admire are not perfect.

On the flip side, there is a symbiotic relationship between celebrities and the media. One depends on the other for their existence. Celebrities need media exposure to remain celebrities. They are desperate to stay in the news. They need media attention to build their career. They become conscious of their right to privacy only after they have established themselves in the industry. At that stage, however, they can’t expect the media, which fuelled their growth, to stop writing about them.

To conclude, as long as people want to know about the private lives of famous personalities, media will oblige them with photos and stories. However, I believe that public personalities also have a right to privacy. Although I wouldn’t say that media should stop writing about famous people, I do believe that they should draw a line. Media must resist the temptation to publish stories that can destroy lives and careers.


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Celebrities' Rights To Privacy Essay

In previous years, the issue with the paparazzi and media has grown. With the advances in technology, it makes taking and posting photos of celebrities or public figures much easier. The public appears greedy and feels privy to their private lives. Celebrities, or any public figure, have very limited privacy due to the paparazzi and media. The paparazzi and media are also affecting celebrities’ children. Currently, laws are being put in effect to stop this.
The term paparazzi is defined as a freelance photographer, usually one who takes candid pictures of celebrities for publication. The term originated from the surname of the 1959 Federico film, La Dolce Vita. Now, the connotation that arises from the word “paparazzi” is much stronger than just a freelance photographer. The paparazzi are annoying, persistent photographers who, in essence, stalk their celebrity victims and go to any length necessary to get the photograph they desire. But, the paparazzi are doing their job to please the public. Paparazzi tend to target celebrities that fascinate the public; the public’s obsession encourages the paparazzi in their pursuit. The public never calls out the paparazzi for invading the celebrities’ privacy; they only call them out when harm or threats come to the celebrity (Nordhaus 286).
When living their day-to-day lives in the public eye, many celebrities must deal with gossip columnists, the infatuation of stalkers, and the unrelenting paparazzi. They follow celebrities into restaurants, their children’s schools, on vacations, and even their residential neighborhoods (Jones). By seeking out and publishing the whereabouts of celebrities, they cannot be sure who will find or come across that information. The paparazzi and media do not think of this before they publish. These people are unknowingly giving the public access to private information that could prove fatal if put in the wrong hands (Mandell). The public does not need that much information on celebrities’ lives.
A psychotherapist, Tina Tess, explains why people feel privy to celebrities’ private lives: “Actors play characters on TV that we feel like we know, and you feel like we know, and you feel privy to their private lives… We’ve all been encouraged to project our fantasy lives onto celebrities, so when a couple we identify with breaks up, it is slightly as if it is happening to us.” (Mandell). Since we feel emotionally and mentally connected with the celebrities it seems as if we have a need to know everything about what they are doing or where they are, when in reality we do not know them and we do not have the right to that information. The celebrities deserve privacy. The public and media are not allowing them to have any privacy.
The paparazzi should be respectful. They should not be allowed to encroach on an individual’s privacy in an effort to track down a celebrity. They should not be allowed on their victim’s private property or anyone’s private...

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