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(Credit: SPJ, screenshot)

Society of Professional Journalists ethics chairman Kevin Z. Smith addressed the media’s coverage of celebrities, especially in light of the death of singer Whitney Houston and the NBA player Jeremy Lin’s success.

Smith noted that with any of these high-profile celebrity rise-and-fall stories, “The key question in this analysis is when is it enough? When does the commitment to telling the fullness of the story cross the line into unmitigated saturation?”

He added that the SPJ’s ethics guidelines advise journalists “avoid pandering to lurid curiousity” among other tenets.

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Smith gave guidance on handling “big news like the death of a well-known person.” For example, he called for “substance and cultural context,” and news updates for “only significant developments”.

See his full post here.

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SPJ Ethics Chair on Celebrity Coverage – Whitney Houston’s Death, Jeremy Lin

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