North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Community News Network

March 29, 2013

Slate: How Instagram will make us all paparazzi

In the New York Times on Tuesday, Jenna Wortham chronicled how a photograph of Beyoncé and her daughter Blue Ivy, who has been relatively shielded from the public eye, traveled from a personal Instagram feed into the pages of many gossip publications. The rise of photo distribution services like Instagram, Wortham argues, poses a challenge to paparazzi, whose market may be undercut by amateurs who happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Wortham spoke to Molly Goodson, a senior editor at PopSugar, one of the sites that bought the image of Beyonce and her daughter.

The average person has eyes in places where regular paparazzi don't have them, [Goodson] said. "The whole world becomes a photo agency at that point. More so than ever before."

The entrance of ordinary people with relatively high-quality cameras on their cell phones also raises questions about the ethics of how to treat celebrities when they're simply going about town like the rest of us. Paparazzi may be willing to be more aggressive than the average citizen — it's hard to imagine that ordinary citizens would engage in high-speed car chases or tangle with bodyguards as a regular part of doing business — and have better cameras. But they aren't everywhere. They take time to mobilize and show up. They can be negotiated with, trading exclusive snaps for promises to back off.

Average people, as Goodson notes, are everywhere. And while they've always been eager to take photos and video of celebrities — Vanessa Grigoriadis' 2008 Rolling Stone profile of Britney Spears opened with the singer being swamped at a mall — the opportunity to be a semi-professional photographer ups the stakes for fans who previously might have only wanted snaps for their personal enjoyment. What happens when the girl who says she wants to take a picture of Britney for her sister turns around and sells it? Also, the telephoto lenses paparazzi use make it possible to capture a good shot from a distance. Paparazzi get in celebrities' faces to try to provoke reactions, but what happens when amateurs need to get close to get a saleable shot at all? And while paparazzi are obnoxious, they're constrained by some basic laws of the market that will never govern individuals: Their agencies often need to maintain at least decent relationships with celebrities and their management to get access to red carpets and semi-private parties.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo