i like your style, kater, stoned tired and essayin'
The qualities you say make a good pap manifest positively in other "photo journalism" (*cough* if you can call paps that) areas. The ability to keep taking photos when others would turn away and to persist until they get what is needed is what gives the world footage of things that little girl in Vietnam running down the street with her clothes burnt off by napalm. Disturbing stuff, but which the public needed to see. I think basically with any job, but specifically here with entertainment photography, it comes down to weighing the positives vs negatives of an action.
Is the act of taking a photo of a celeb at a media event, or strolling in the park with a new boyfriend, etc justified by the worth of the outcome? Sure. The public are interested so it serves to satisfy that interest - and at worst it's only a minor irritation to the celeb who has chosen to be a figure of interest. However, bugging celebs' houses, driving dangerously in pursuit, unethically provoking them in person or from in a vehicle, stalking their kids and families, doing appalling things like taking pictures of celebs while seriously injured or dead... that sort of thing is not justified by the outcome. It goes from a minor irritation to an excessive invasion of privacy, it makes innocent people around them suffer, it can be dangerous and all the harm it causes outweighs any good that could come from serving the public interest. It's not going to have a profound impact on the psyche of the masses, it's not going to have political or historical significance. Ultimately, the public interest will be equally as satisfied with photos of Celeb X just splashing around at the beach. Catering to more morbid or voyeuristic thirsts isn't exactly performing the greater good.
The difference is defined by whether they'll not just step over the line but polevault across it if they think it'll serve their own interests.
(Someone needs to stop me posting on here when it's 5 am and I'm stoned with tiredness yet can't sleep. I write small essays.)
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