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On the function of the United States paparazzi: mosquito swarm or watchdogs of celebrity image control and power

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One group of media practitioners is consistently viewed more negatively than others - the paparazzi. When the topic of the paparazzi arises, it is usually in reference to their relationship with celebrities and privacy. Rather than examining the celebrity-paparazzi issue through the lens of privacy, the purpose of this article is to reframe the issue by examining it through the lens of self-presentation theory and image control. This requires thinking of celebrities less as individuals whose privacy is threatened and more as entities trying to present the most unified image possible in order to increase their cultural and economic power. Through this frame, the paparazzi fit squarely within a normative model of journalism, and can be thought of as investigative journalists attempting to uncover another 'truth' of celebrities.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2007

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