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The Dark Side of Media and Technology

A 21st Century Guide to Media and Technological Literacy

Edited By Edward Downs

The Dark Side of Media and Technology: A 21st Century Guide to Media and Technological Literacy is Herculean in its effort to survey for landmines in a rapidly changing media landscape. The book identifies four dark outcomes related to media and technology use in the 21st century, and balances the dark side with four points of light that are the keys to taking ownership of a media- and technology-saturated world. The text contains an impressive list of multi-disciplinary experts and cutting-edge researchers who approach 25 separate dark side issues with concise, highly readable chapters, replete with unique recommendations for navigating our mediated present and future.

The Dark Side of Media and Technology is grounded in theory and current research, but possesses an appeal similar to a page-turning dystopian novel; as a result, this volume should be of interest to scholars, students, and curious lay-readers alike. It should be the "go-to" text for anyone who is interested in learning what the research says about how we use media and technology, as well as how media and technology use us.

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Chapter Six: Paparazzi, Drones, and Privacy (Kalen M. A. Churcher)


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Paparazzi, Drones, and Privacy


In 2010, Leon Gast was a Sundance Film Festival winner with the documentary film, Smash His Camera (2010). The story chronicles paparazzo Ron Galella, whose cache of millions of photos includes such celebrities as Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and perhaps his most famous subject, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In addition to the glimpse into Galella’s life, the film explores the oft-contentious relationship between the First Amendment—specifically freedom of the press—and privacy, the latter of which was originally labeled a tort within the U.S. legal system and given an unclear definition at best. In fact, it wasn’t until 1960, more than 150 years after the constitution guaranteed free speech that the Dean of the College of Law at UC Berkley, William Prosser, broke down the tort of privacy into four digestible subsections that were more palatable for public understanding.

Fast forward to 2017. The year marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. The “People’s Princess” died in 1997 after the car she was riding in crashed on the Pont de I’Alma in Paris. News reports published she was “chased by photographers on motorcycles,” and with her death, came a firestorm of criticism that stretched across the pond and ignited a debate surrounding the validity of paparazzi. Were the photographers simply doing their jobs? Or was the driver, who was found...

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