Code of Conduct

Media Code of Conduct

It used to be the tabloids had one standard for what they were willing to publish and the rest of the media had a higher standard. Due to a decrease in circulation numbers, magazines such as US and PEOPLE have began publishing more questionable photos.

In the past, pictures of celebrity children would not be published and photos of celebrities clearly in distress when photographed were off limits. Today the lines between the tabloids and the rest of the media are blurring. One example is a photo published by US WEEKLY of Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal with their children at Los Angeles International airport returning from vacation.

The entire family is obviously trying to hide their faces and US WEEKLY went ahead and published the photo anyway. When Editor Janice Min was asked about this, she justified it this way:

"Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal have a relationship that our readers are really interested in. The fact that they went away on a family vacation all together is definitely of interest to the audience. My feeling on that is, there are many photographs of Reese Witherspoon and her children we do not run." - Janice Min, Editor, US WEEKLY. Source: ABC's 20/20

In order to bring back some sense of civility to the media, The Paparazzi Reform Initiative has asked that every media outlet voluntarily abide by the HUMAN PRIVACY AND RESPECT IN THE MEDIA CODE OF CONDUCT:

Unless clearly for a newsworthy event, situation or happening:

No photos or video of children shall be printed or broadcast or displayed without the written consent of the parent.

No photos or video of any person clearly in distress or injured shall be printed or broadcast or displayed without the individual's written consent.

No photos or video of individuals clearly participating in a private matter such as a vacation, exercise, eating, at school, at home, at a funeral, wedding or involved in a family activity shall be printed or broadcast or displayed without the written consent of the individuals involved.

Whether deemed newsworthy or not, no photos or video shall be printed, broadcast or displayed, that when taken, clearly put the life or well being of the subject (or others in the immediate environment) in danger.


A printable PDF of the code of conduct is available HERE. Please help by printing it out and mailing it to all media (newspapers, TV and internet) that you would like to see abide by this code. Tell them your thoughts on why and encourage them to sign it and mail it back to us. Thank you for your help!