An unhealthy obsession

The Daily Mail seems obsessed with Suri Cruise. A quick search of MailOnline returns 420 matches for ‘Suri Cruise’, here are the top ten results:

  1. Weary Suri Cruise snuggles up in her favourite pink ‘blankie’
  2. Suri Cruise holds on tight to mum Katie Holmes – and her make-up bag
  3. Suri Cruise looks even cuddlier than her pet toy as she acts up on set with Katie
  4. Suri Cruise totes £500 designer bag to match mum Katie Holmes
  5. Cheeky Suri Cruise pokes her tongue out at photographers
  6. Suri plays hide and seek in the park as Tom Cruise agrees to send her to a Catholic school
  7. Suri Cruise ventures out on a chilly night with bare legs
  8. Suri Cruise shows off her personalised accessory: Toddler has handbag at the ready for mother Katie’s Broadway debut
  9. Totally on trend: Suri Cruise steps out in furry coat and statement boots for trip to the shops and the film set
  10. Little Suri Cruise steals the show on a day out with Tom and Katie

And it goes on like this for page after page of results. Suri Cruise is just four years old, that means the Daily Mail has averaged over 100 articles a year about her since she was born. The PCC’s Editor’s Code has a little bit to say on the privacy of children:

i) Young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion…

v) Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.

Not exactly detailed guidance, but surely it is enough to suggest that editors refrain from running hundreds of articles with numerous photos accompanying each of them just because a young girl has famous parents. I wonder how the Daily Mail would justify such intrusion if Tom Cruise actually complained about this constant attention?

Today’s latest Suri Cruise article draws attention to her ‘bare legs’ for at least the second time, as if this is somehow newsworthy and worthy of 5 accompanying photographs: ‘Isn’t it a bit cold for bare legs? Suri Cruise braves the snow in a flimsy dress as she goes for cupcakes with mother Katie’.

As news arrives that MailOnline is fast becoming one of the most visited ‘news’ websites in the world it is clear that much of this traffic is being generated by the sort of invasive, celebrity drivel that the newspaper finds so offensive when it appears on TV. Journalism and the pursuit of real news is being ditched in favour of a business model built on the tireless harassment of the even vaguely famous or infamous by an increasing army of paparazzi. Newspapers might shudder at paying money to employ real journalists, but they certainly have no hesitation in paying photo agencies.

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