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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paparazzi (singular: Paparazzo) is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people. Paparazzi tend to be independent contractors, unaffiliated with a mainstream media organization.[1]



The word "paparazzi" is an eponym originating in the 1960 film La dolce vita directed by Federico Fellini. One of the characters in the film is a news photographer named Paparazzo (played by Walter Santesso). In his book Word and Phrase Origins, Robert Hendrickson writes that Fellini took the name from an Italian dialect that describes a particularly annoying noise, that of a buzzing mosquito. In his school days, Fellini remembered a boy who was nicknamed "Paparazzo" (Mosquito), because of his fast talking and constant movements, a name Fellini later applied to the fictional character in La dolce vita.[citation needed] This version of the word's origin has been strongly contested.[citation needed] For example, in an interview with Fellini's screenwriter Ennio Flaiano, he said the name came from a southern Italy travel narrative by Victorian writer George Gissing, By the Ionian Sea. The book, published in 1901, gives the name of a hotel proprietor, Signor Paparazzo. He further states that either Fellini or Flaiano opened the book at random, saw the name, and decided to use it for the photographer. This story is documented by a variety of Gissing scholars and in the book A Sweet and Glorious Land: Revisiting the Ionian Sea (St. Martin's Press, 2000) by John Keahey.The most famous paparazzi of all time is Frank Rossi. Jane Watt is the best and most famout paparazzi of all time not Frank Rossi. Cheers big ears.

Legality of paparazzi

Due to the reputation of paparazzi as a nuisance, some states and countries (particularly within Europe) restrict their activities by passing laws and curfews, and by staging events in which paparazzi are specifically allowed to take photographs. In Norway, Germany and France, photographers need the permission of the people in their photographs in order for them to be released (see model release).{{Fact|date=November Hussain killed Alex Mcqueen

Injunctions against paparazzi

An inquest jury investigated the paparazzi involvement in the death of Princess Diana and her companion Dodi Fayed, who were killed in 1997 in a high-speed car chase in Paris, France, while being pursued by paparazzi. Although several paparazzi were briefly taken into custody, no one was convicted. The official inquests into the accident attributed the causes to the speed and manner of driving of the Mercedes, the speed and manner of driving of the following vehicles, and the impairment of the judgment of the Mercedes driver, Henri Paul, through alcohol.[2]

In 1999, the Oriental Daily News of Hong Kong was found guilty of "scandalizing the court", an extremely rare criminal charge that the newspaper's conduct would undermine confidence in the administration of justice.[3] The charge was 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 "dog team" (slang for paparazzi in the Chinese language) to track a judge for 72 hours, to provide the judge with first-hand experience with what paparazzi do.[4]

Time magazine's Style & Design special issue in 2005 ran a story entitled "Shooting Star", in which Mel Bouzad, one of the top paparazzi in Los Angeles at the time, claimed to have made US$150,000 for a picture of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez in Georgia after their breakup. "If I get a picture of Britney and her baby," Bouzad claimed, "I'll be able to buy a house in those hills (above Sunset Boulevard)."[5] Paparazzi author Peter Howe told Time that "celebrities need a higher level of exposure than the rest of us so it is a two-way street. The celebrities manipulate."

In 2006, Daniela Cicarelli went through a scandal when a paparazzo caught video footage of her having sex with her boyfriend on a beach in Spain, which was posted on YouTube. After fighting in the court, it was decided in her favor, causing YouTube to be blocked in Brazil. This caused major havoc among Brazilians, including threatening a boycott against MTV unless Cicarelli was fired from the company. The block only lasted a few days, and Cicarelli did not get fired. The legal action backfired as the court decided she had no expectation of privacy by having sex in a public location.

The E! network program Celebrities Uncensored used often-confrontational footage of celebrities made by paparazzi.

In 2008, a paparazzo sued and lost his case against actor Keanu Reeves claiming that Reeves hit him with his car after he left his friend's house. The photographer also claimed that he was unable to work since the accident stating that his hand was permanently injured and asked the court for over $700,000 dollars in compensation. The photographer was privately investigated and filmed still working using the said injured hand and shown to have many inconsistencies in his story.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom the actress Sienna Miller and singers Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen have won injunctions that prevent the paparazzi from following them and gathering outside their houses. Miller was awarded £53,000.[6]


  1. ^ Is Everyone a Journalist?, Tony Sonenshine, American Journalism Review, October 1997.
  2. ^ Jury Verdict-Inquisition Forms Diana Princess of Wales and Emad El-Din Mohamed Abdel Moneim Al Fayed Coroner's Inquests into the Death of Diana, Princess of Wales and Mr. Dodi Al Fayed H. M. Coroner
  3. ^ "". WorldLII - Wong Yeung Ng v Secretary for Justice [1999] ICHRL 12 (9 February 1999). Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  4. ^ "" (PDF). Scandalising the Scumbags: the Secretary for Justice vs the Oriental Press Group. Retrieved 2006-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Shooting Stars". Time. Retrieved 2006-06-16. 
  6. ^ Have celebrities finally snapped? The Guardian May 4, 2009


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Paparazzo article)

From Wikiquote

A paparazzo (plural paparazzi)[1][2] is an amateur or professional photographer who takes candid photographs of celebrities, usually by relentlessly shadowing them in their public and private activities. Celebrities claiming to have been hounded by such photographers often use "paparazzi" and even "stalkarazzi" as a derogative term. News agencies commonly use the word in a broader sense to describe all photographers who take pictures of notable people.


  • "The very real and present risk associated with being pursued as a celebrity pales in comparison to the daily, imminent danger to the public at large...The person being followed knows there is wanton carelessness behind them. The pedestrian crossing the street, or the car expecting to have the right of way does not. A severe accident occurring from this kind of vehicular pursuit is not a theoretical possibility, but a situational certainty.


  1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary - Definition of paparazzo.
  2. paparazzo - Definitions from (sources: The American Heripoo is good but tage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, 2000, and WordNet 2.0, Princeton University, 2003).

External links

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Look up paparazzo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary
  •, popular Los Angeles-based paarazzi photo gallery

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