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July 27 2011

05:12

CNN's Piers Morgan 'told interviewer stories were published based on phone tapping'

Telegraph :: Piers Morgan, the CNN broadcaster, has said that newspaper articles based on the findings of people paid to tap phones and rake through bins were published during his time as a tabloid newspaper editor, it can be disclosed.

[BBC Desert Island Discs, June 2009: Piers Morgan was asked:] What about this nice middle-class boy, who would have to be dealing with, I mean essentially people who rake through bins for a living, people who tap people’s phones, people who take secret photographs, who do all that nasty down-in-the-gutter stuff. How did you feel about that?"

[Piers Morgan's answer:] ... A lot of it was done by third parties rather than the staff themselves. ... 

Note: Telegraph made the audio recording of this conversation available on their website.

Continue to read /listen to the audio Jon Swaine, www.telegraph.co.uk

July 17 2011

16:23

After NOTW 2.7 million buyers available today, but what if the option is not worth buying

Guardian :: In theory, there were 2.7 million extra buyers available today with the disappearance of the tabloid that died of shame. Naturally enough, the surviving papers published many thousands of extra copies and there were judicious price cuts. Virtually every commercial break on TV last night carried an advert for one title or another. But increased print runs, promotion and marketing is a waste of time if the paper itself is not worth buying.

Continue to read Roy Greenslade, www.guardian.co.uk

July 07 2011

21:20

The Sun, The Sunday Times, The Times, News of the World - Inside the UK's tabloid culture

Reuters :: Benjamin Pell made a second career out of digging through the contents of people's rubbish bags and selling it to the British press. The office cleaner, or 'Benji the Binman' as he was known to his clients on Fleet Street, regularly passed journalists the discarded papers of lawyers, celebrities and business executives. Benji's low-tech operations in the late 1990s fed stories on a high-profile libel case and even Elton John's flower bill.

British tabloids have a long and colorful history of finding new ways to get the story.

An overview - continue to read Kate Holton | Mark Hosenball, www.reuters.com

September 27 2010

23:45

Adrian Grenier Turns Camera on Paparazzi in HBO Documentary

teenpap image.jpg

"I'm going to meet Adrian Grenier from 'Entourage' and see his new documentary," I told a friend recently. That friend is a female who's married but also a fan of "Entourage."

"Can you tell him I think he's cute?" she said.

I think he gets the message. Grenier plays Vincent Chase, the good-looking idiot savant in "Entourage" who makes the money while his crew does all the dirty work. But Grenier in real life is someone who can take that parody of celebrity culture even further. In his new documentary, Teenage Paparazzo (premiering tonight on HBO), Grenier is the director, on-screen star, and master manipulator. The story is ostensibly about a 14-year-old paparazzo named Austin Visschedyk, who lives in Hollywood and has parents that don't mind him going out till 3 am and stalking celebrities to get photos of them.

But very quickly, you realize the film is more about Grenier and his own interactions with paparazzi, and his musings on privacy in the digital age. Grenier purchases a high-end camera for himself, and with Austin's help, joins the pack to try to get photos of celebs. He becomes a catalyst of sorts for Austin, helping him become a celebrity with his own reality show on E! Though Grenier interviews media experts like Henry Jenkins (at a Boston Red Sox game where an "Entourage" fan rudely interrupts), the documentary prompts more questions than it answers.

Why is Grenier on-screen so much, interacting with the main characters and ratcheting up the drama? Isn't he having a long-term effect on a young man's future? Is that good? But more than that, Grenier leaves it all in the documentary, his own musings and even his own questions about what he is doing, and whether it is for good or ill. At one point, he stages an elaborate "date" with Paris Hilton just to get tongues wagging -- as well as good photos for his pal, Austin. And more than that, he shows the protagonists the film so far to see how ashamed they are of their actions.

While Grenier weaves the story well with the expert analysis, including interviews with stars such as Hilton, Whoopie Goldberg and Alec Baldwin, he misses an opportunity to get at the power behind the paparazzi. When he finally goes to the photo editors at the tabloid magazine, OK, he never asks them what their responsibility is when it comes to privacy and stalking. And while he shows Austin obsessively posting and editing photos on his computer, and mentions the phenomenon of sites such as TMZ, he never talks to bloggers beyond Perez Hilton.

Though it feels like Grenier is in every frame of the documentary (behind or in front of the camera), we still don't know who he is, how he differs from the cipher of Vinnie Chase. After I saw the preview showing of the documentary, I asked Grenier why I still didn't know who he was and what his emotional response was to the action in the documentary.

"That's what my girlfriend said, too," he responded. "I've always had a very objective personality, not putting my opinion up front. My last documentary 'Shot in the Dark' is very personal, about my search for my father."

Twitter Interview

I had a chance today to do a live interview of Grenier on Twitter, and asked him the question again: What makes him different than Vincent Chase?

"The difference between me and Vince is that I see irony in everything and he is more earnest," he wrote back.

So maybe this is all about irony, and Grenier definitely leverages more irony in his social media promotions for the documentary, including the ridiculous S'leb Suit infomercial (starring celebrities, of course). Below is my Twitter interview with Grenier, edited via Keepstream.

What do you think about the notion of privacy in the digital age, and rise of sites such as TMZ? If you saw the "Teenage Paparazzo" documentary, what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

July 01 2010

11:38

‘Demented intensity’ of tabloid celebrity coverage shows commercial importance

You either love or hate it, but according to Peter Kirwin the celebrity gossip filled pages of British tabloids could be its saviour in the future.

In a Wired.com post, Kirwin talks about why digital replications are not the long-term solution and that British tabloids need to get back to the roots of their popularity.

There’s plenty of life left in print. But publishers need to start work on long-term alternatives to the failed approach of simply dumping print content into digital formats. Stripping down the disintegrating bundle of delights stitched together by Hugh Cudlipp in the 1930s and focusing exclusively on celebrity coverage could yet emerge as one route to salvation (…) Happily, the demented intensity of celebrity coverage also reflects the presence of a real commercial imperative: the entertainment industry’s need to shift units in an era of audience fragmentation.

Read his full post here…Similar Posts:



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