If you like reading celebrity magazines or about celebrities in the newspapers, according to an article in The Times, such articles might eventually not exist – at least in their current form. Writing in the paper, Phil Hilton, Editorial Director of Stylist magazine says the Leveson inquiry – which has seen celebrities such as Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and JK Rowling giving evidence – could mark the end of this celebrity-led era.
Writes Hilton: “Having worked in magazines for all my adult life, I now feel nothing will ever be the same again. And despite the snarky commentary about the testimony of those richer and better looking than ourselves who sought fame, I believe we are all sick of haunting them too.
“I’m not immune to the odd fascination we all have with the famous – but Leveson has exposed the ugliness of our national addiction, and I suspect, ended an era.”
The article also quotes two readers. However, they don’t agree. Nicole, 24, who works in recruitment says: “Everyone loves a gossip and it can be inspirational to see people who’ve made a business out of being a nobody.”
And another reader quoted in The Times – Nicola, 22, who wants to work as a showbiz reporter, says: “It’s unrealistic for a celebrity to expect their life to stay completely private and maybe it shouldn’t be, but it is so integrated into our culture people would still speculate even without the celebrity magazines.”
Meanwhile, some of those who represent celebrities are also appalled at what they see as ‘censoring of the media’.
PR guru Richard Hillgrove, who has consulted on PR to BBC Dragon’s Duncan Bannatyne OBE and James Caan, says: ” Far from being an intrusion, being covered in the tabloids and celebrity magazines is why so many people see Hugh Grant or Sienna Miller’s films and why they achieve such high fees for advertising endorsements.
“But if the media is completely neutered, then next step will be people’s personal email on Google and Facebook being monitored through automated keyword searches. Ultimately, legislation will make all media data, including social media, becoming the property of the State. Censoring will create a police state.”
Whether this inquiry signals the end of celebrities being in the news remains to be seen. It might be celebrities are only featured in a paper or magazine with their approval – for example when they have a film or book to promote.
What are your views? Let us know below…