Who Drives Celebrity Coverage? In the early morning hours on August 31, 1997, Diana, the Princess of Wales, and her friend Dodi Fayed, the son of Mohamad Al-Fayed, owner of Harrods and the Hotel Ritz of Paris, crashed into a pillar in the Point de L’Alma road tunnel in Paris, France. Fayed and the chauffeur were killed instantly. Princess Diana died a few hours later, and her personal body guard survived, but suffered severe injuries. The entire tragedy began several hours earlier when a group of paparazzi—celebrity reporters and photographers—loitered outside the Hotel Ritz awaiting the departure of Princess Diana, who was a constant target of paparazzi wherever she was in the world. Despite leaving through a backdoor of the hotel and having a decoy car at the front of the hotel, seven paparazzi spotted the princess and took chase. They followed them aggressively through the streets of Paris in cars and on motorbikes. It is assumed that the crash occurred because the chauffeur was driving at excessively high speeds in an attempt to elude the paparazzi.

Ironically, among the first on the scene to take close-up photographs of the crash victims were members of the chasing paparazzi. All seven paparazzi were arrested at the scene and charged with aggravated manslaughter. Although a lengthy French

criminal investigation found the chauffer driver solely responsible for the crash, a UK death inquest found that the gross negligent driving of the seven French paparazzi, who were chasing Princess Diana and Fayed at high speeds while taking photographs, contributed to the crash. Many witnesses described the aggressive and unrelenting tactics used by members of the French paparazzi, hungry for a story.

After this tragic incident, France passed strict laws prohibiting such activities among celebrity reporters and paparazzi. When interviewed after the tragedy, several of the involved paparazzi claimed they had done nothing wrong, as they were just doing their job.

7.1 Mediation of Entertainment

Study Preview Mass media, throughout their existence, have increased the audience for entertainment. Technology may have expanded the formats for entertainment, but the core categories still remain storytelling and music.

Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. 7.1.1 Explain how consumer demand for entertainment influences journalism
  2. 7.1.2 Compare technology-driven entertainment genres
  3. 7.1.3 Explain how technology affects mediated messages

7.1.1 Entertainment as Mass Media 1. Objective: Explain how consumer demand for entertainment influences


Entertainment predates the written history of the human species. Music and storytelling existed long before printing, recordings, or any media we take for granted today. This is seen from animal hide drums and paintings on cave walls that attest to early visual arts. Over time, as entertainment became more sophisticated, banquets in ancient cultures featured acrobats, musicians, and dancers. Sports and athletics were institutionalized and athletes idolized as far back as the Greek Olympics. In Rome, the Circus Maximus held spectacles featuring chariot races and gladiators.

Entertainment as a form of mass media includes a range of media within the arts and culture, including storytelling in films, plays, music, sports, adult entertainment, as well as other formats that have artistic value. Entertainment can also include

information related to the media itself, the actors and performers, as well as other related information. There are also blurred lines between journalism genres. For instance, does a scandalous report about a political figure fall under the genre of politics or entertainment? The answer, according to some media outlets, such as CNN, is both.

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