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September 6, 1997
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 309


by Dragoljub Zarkovic

A criminal investigation has begun against seven photographers who followed Princess Diana's Mercedes for "not offering aid and for murder with wreckless disregard". The first to be accused and heard was Nikola Arsov, a Macedonian, photographer for Sigma. All others are Frenchmen. This raised the whole question of invasion of privacy, and that question will not be buried by the fact that the driver of the Mercedes in which Diana and Dodi were killed has questionable connections. Local paparazzi do not drive around on motorcycles with the air blowing through their hair. The portrait of a local paparazzo looks like this: with a pen in hand he sits at a table of an editorial office, and even more frequently in a pub, jotting down faithfully what the Information Bureau hands down to him. What I wish to say is that here, privacy is in large part disturbed, that here, with small chances of correction, people are lightly sentenced before being proven guilty, disqualified before their qualifications are assessed... And all that has little to do with the job of a real paparazzi, a profession which was created with the proliferation of media markets and profits. What we see here is political profit, a profession that is connected with bad taste, absence of professional standards and ignoble motives. That is why an analogy can be drawn with our own Parisian paparazzi, who could be called to answer for limiting freedoms of the press of local journalists, in reporting on public personalities, which can only be interpreted as ill spirited of those who are attempting to keep Serbian journalism on a low level. That is to say, the road is long toward real paparazzia, and it is worthwhile making a distinction between mudslinging and photojournalism. If the world has been shaken by this event in which murder was committed out of wreckless disregard, in our case the question concerns more murder out of carelessness. The difference is not small.

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