Paparazzi

From Academic Kids

For the article on the 2004 film, see Paparazzi (movie)


Paparazzi is a plural term for photographers who take candid photographs of celebrities, usually by relentlessly shadowing them in public and private activities. The term paparazzi is often used in a derogatory manner. Originally, it referred to Italian celebrity photographers who learned that a picture of a movie star throwing a punch was more valuable than pictures of stars smiling. It is this antagonistic interaction that is the true hallmark of a paparazzo (paparazzo is the singular form). However, the term is often used erroneously for photographers who merely take pictures of people of note.

The word derives from "Paparazzo", the name of a news photographer character in Federico Fellini's film La Dolce Vita. In Hong Kong, paparazzi are sometimes called "puppy teams", either because they "dog" (i.e., closely follow) their subjects, or by analogy with the behavior of puppies around people.

Technological developments in cameras (i.e., stronger lenses and higher speed films) enable paparazzi to "shoot" (English slang for capturing a photograph) their prey from afar, and unknown to their subjects. Furthermore, digital cameras and transmission methods allow for rapid distribution of the pictures.

Due to the annoying reputation of the paparazzi, some states and some countries (particularly Europe) restrict the job of the paparazzi by passing laws and curfews, and by staging events in which the paparazzi are specifically allowed to take photographs.

Paparazzi in the news

  • The Oriental Daily News of Hong Kong was found guilty of "scandalising the court", an extremely rare criminal charge that the newspaper's conduct would undermine confidence in the administration of justice (http://www.worldlii.org/int/cases/ICHRL/1999/12.html). The charges were brought after the newspaper had published abusive articles challenging the judiciary's integrity and accusing it of bias in a lawsuit the paper had instigated over a photo of a pregnant Faye Wong. The paper had also arranged for a "puppy team" to track a judge for 72 hours, to provide the judge with first-hand experience with what paparazzi do.

fr:Paparazzi ja:パパラッチ nl:Paparazzi

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