The Real Motivators

There is a wave of accordance to the one thing that motivates the paparazzi: money. But who's to blame for the intrusive behavior of the paparazzi? The photographers themselves? The celebrities? Tabloid newspapers? The people who buy the tabloids?

Have you ever browsed through the Globe or National Enquirerwhile standing at the checkout counter? Do you religiously watch Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight to get the latest information on your favorite celebrities? Or have you ever bought People magazine so you can show friends and families the compromising photos of well-respected celebrities? If you confess to doing any of the three described situations, chances are that you are guilty of promoting paparazzi behavior.

Sue Cater, associate professor of journalism at Michigan State University, claims that the paparazzi is a segment of journalism that is market driven, saying the larger the demand, the more aggressive the paparazzi. She added that "the people who buy paparazzi material are taking a role in the entire process." (1)

It goes without question that the tragedy of Princess Diana's death refocused Hollywood's mounting fury over the paparazzi's increasingly ruthless tactics. Initially, society pointed fingers at the media blaming them with creating a market for celebrity reporting. How? Because they are the ones that are shelling out hundreds and thousands of dollars for these celebrity shots. For example, it was reported that pictures of Diana and Dodi, kissing on a yacht in St. Tropez , sold in the United States for $200,000. Also, paparazzi pictures of the fatal car crash were being offered around the world for $1 million. (2) Now there is no more Diana to take pictures of, and there are those who say the public is partly responsible.

"If readers hadn't waited in the supermarkets to get the newest tabloid issue that had her picture, there would be no group of photographers in high-speed chase to get another picture of the couple, " said one student reporter at Clarkson University.(3)

He also adds in the same opinions article that, indirectly, all of us may be to blame for Princess Diana's death.

"We were not there, we weren't chasing them. But we do thrive on celebrities. We can only blame the paparazzi for so long. As long as we continue to watch and read those tabloid, we are just as guilt as any of them."

Many others around the world have echoed the same thoughts, even those related to Princess Diana.

According to Charles Spencer, Diana's brother, "Every proprietor and editor of every publication that have paid for intrusive and exploitative photographs of her has blood on his hands."(4)

One reporter summed everything up in an online editorial, suggesting that the primary source of the paparazzi could be you or me. "Unless consumers are willing to give up this unholy addition, there will always be some photographer eager to risk everything for that one shot that could make them millionaires, and there will always be enough newspapers around the world ready to pay the price." (5)

If you are unsure of whether you are a contributor to the paparazzi existence, here is a list of popular tabloid publications and shows that are known to use paparazzi clips and photos. Most of them have been on celebrity lists as the "tabloids" to boycott:


  • CARETAS magazine (Peru)
  • E! Entertainment Television (TV tabloid)
  • ENPERSONA (Peru)
  • Entertainment Tonight
  • France Dimanche (French tabloid)
  • Frecuencia Latina (Peru)
  • Hard Copy
  • ICI Paris (French tabloid)
  • News of the World (British)
  • Paramount Studios Owners/Producers of Hard Copy and Entertainment Tonight
  • Paris Match (French tabloid)
  • People Magazine
  • Prive Magazine (Dutch gossip magazine)
  • Story Magazine (Dutch gossip magazine)
  • The Daily Mail (British)
  • The Examiner (US tabloid)
  • The Globe (US tabloid)
  • The Mirror (British)
  • The National Enquirer (US tabloid)
  • The New Idea (Australian magazine)
  • The New Weekly (Australian magazine)
  • The Star (British)
  • The Star (US tabloid)
  • The Sun (British tabloid)
  • The Sunday Mirror (British)
  • The Weekly World News (tabloid)
  • TV Weekly (Australian magazine)
  • Weekend Magazine (Dutch tabloid)
  • Woman's Day (New Zealand magazine)
  • Woman's Weekly (Australian magazine)
  • Woman's Weekly (New Zealand magazine)



1)Robinson, Charles. DIANA'S DEATH BRINGS REFLECTIONS ON LAWS. The State News: Michigan State University, September 3, 1997

2)FOX News Wire. DIANA: A ROYAL TRAGEDY. August 31, 1997.

3)Bullivant, Todd. HOW FAR IS TOO FAR? The Clarkson Integrator: Clarkson University, 1997.

4)Arianna Online. DEATH BY PAPARAZZI. Santa Monica, CA. September 1, 1997

5)Arianna Online. DEATH BY PAPARAZZI. Santa Monica, CA. September 1, 1997