GRE Issue Essay 102

“Public figures such as actors, politicians, and athletes should expect people to be interested in their private lives. When they seek a public role, they should expect that they will lose at least some of their privacy.”

Everyone dreams of earning fame and fortune. People who are popular by virtue of their professions, be it acting, sports or politics, try their level best to earn the admiration and respect of the public. This is because a huge fan following can always be used to your advantage irrespective of whether you are an actor or a politician. However, this fame and fan following comes at a price: the loss of your privacy. Numerous public figures cry foul over the intrusion into their private lives by the media, but there are a handful of them who love every minute of being hounded by the public as it gives them an overwhelming feeling of being successful. It is this handful of public figures that have set the trend wherein the public has got used to being informed about the private lives of popular figures. Hence, whenever a person gets famous due to either his profession or his royal lineage, he should be prepared to lose his privacy.

The intrusion into the private lives of famous figures has become a thriving business today. There are hoards of magazines in the market that discuss the private lives of celebrities. You will come across numerous TV channels that are popular just because they host chat shows in which celebrities are interviewed about their private lives. All national dailies cover information about the private lives of celebrities in order to make their newspapers more interesting. An act of bravery by a citizen may not find its place in the front pages of the national daily, but the photographs of the marriage of a popular movie actor are bound to be splashed across the front pages of all the newspapers in the country. This mass hype regarding information pertaining to celebrities has risen to such a level that the media can go to any extent possible to peep into the lives of public figures. Take for instance, the unfortunate accident in which Princess Diana had passed away. The paparazzi following Princess Diana was blamed for the accident. Was the information related to the private life of a celebrity so important that it ultimately cost the celebrity her life?

There is no clear demarcation of the boundary that should not be crossed by the media in its attempt to unveil the real lives of public figures. The actual truth is that the careers of the media persons depend on the kind of information they are able to provide to their news channels, TV channels, newspapers and magazines. One of the main reasons why the common man likes to gather such information is that he likes to emulate his role models. Information about the food habits and exercising regime of a famous fashion model will be lapped up by women who are keen on acquiring bodies like hers. People who have voted a political leader to power would be keen to gather information about his private life so that they are able to know whether he is as honest and sincere in his private life as he demonstrates in his public appearances. As the public is always curious to know what the popular figures are like in their real lives, the sale of such information is bound to rake in profits. Hence, the media tries every possible method to peep into the private lives of celebrities, so that they can gain monetary benefits.

Despite the media coverage on the private lives of public figures, it is not uncommon to hear of lawsuits being filed against the media for leaking information about the private life of a public figure. Most celebrities like to keep their private lives to themselves and the media should understand that whatever information is made available to the public should be at the discretion of the public figure who is involved. At the same time, all celebrities must accept the fact that they are bound to lose their privacy the moment they assume a public role.