Monday, April 25, 2011

Public Figures' Private Lives

In class we discussed the ethical boundaries of covering public figures. The British royal weddings serve as a good case study.

... opinion polls saying that barely a half of the British are interested in the wedding, and only a third are certain to watch it on television. Councils report a north-south divide in applications to hold street parties—and far fewer overall than when Prince William’s parents wed in 1981.

What is going on? Most simply, experience has taught the British that to cheer a royal wedding today is to risk feeling a chump tomorrow. After decades of royal divorces and marital wars conducted by tabloid leak or tell-all book, sighing over a new princely union requires a Zsa Zsa Gabor-like leap of faith.

Perhaps, optimists might also hope, the British feel a twinge of collective remorse over the short, pitilessly scrutinised life of Prince William’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Perhaps the public simply want to give two young people some space.

Read more at Set the Royal Family Free

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