Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Celebrity Hounding: the New Media Culture?

In the past couple of days, I have come across several news items discussing the furore over the leaking of the pictures of Britney Spears's baby. Earlier, there was widespread speculation over the health of the Beckhams' marriage. In India too, we have observed unwarranted prurient interest in the lives of celebrities such as Karisma Kapoor. Is this news? The issue has 2 facets. Firstly, how newsworthy is the state of Ms. Kapoor's matrimony, regardless of her status as an actor? Secondly, what right does the media have to poke their collective noses into the affairs of someone when those affairs have no bearing whatsoever on public interest? Covering societal changes to indicate how cultures evolve is one thing, taking the camera into the bedroom and uncovering sordid personal details quite another. It's not just not news, it's disgraceful and unprofessional. What kind of yellow journalism is this? Some celebrities in India have spoken of the need to evolve privacy-infringement rights to deal with fake exposes such as the Salman-Aishwarya one. I think the judiciary, otherwise so active, must take suo motu interest in this case and rescue the health and prestige of the media.

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