Media and Privacy An Opinion Essay

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Media and Privacy An Opinion Essay

  • Enda Tuomey

Outline of Steps

  • Vocabulary
  • Ideas/examples for
  • Ideas/examples against
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Essay Question

  • Do the media treat famous people unfairly? Should famous people be given more privacy? Is publicity about their private lives the price VIPs must pay for fame?

Step 1: Vocabulary

  • Circle the important words in the question.
  • Write down as many related words as you can
  • If the word is a verb, write the noun form
  • If the word is a noun, write the verb form
  • Write words with a similar meaning
  • Write words with an opposite meaning
  • Break down generalizations like “media,” “people”


Vocabulary 2

  • Media: newspapers, magazines, Hello magazine, television, radio, internet, Hollywood, paparazzi, photographers, zoom lens, scoop, exclusive, prestige
  • Famous people: stars, celebrities, VIPS, dignitaries, politicians, leaders, show business, glitterati, models, businessmen
  • Fair: public have a right to know, stars need publicity, stars give us hope, something to dream about, investigative journalism, private life should reflect public life, models for society

Vocabulary 3

  • Unfairly: with dignity, too much pressure, too much interference, loss of respect, loss of dignity, demeaning, in a cage, crazy
  • Privacy: security, private life, family life, effect on relationships, effect on children, guards, compounds, virtual prison, masks, tinted windows, secrets, news blackouts,
  • Fame: rumors, gossip, stories, sensationalist journalism, libel, lies

Step 2: Ideas and examples

  • Start grouping words and phrases to make ideas
  • You need 3 ideas for the topic (agreeing with the topic) and 3 against (disagreeing)
  • Have some examples for each idea

Ideas/examples: Media are fair (1)

  • We pay these people’s salaries
  • We have a choice not to buy papers with rubbishy stories
  • Media only give us what we want - they don’t create the demand
  • Most VIPS get rich because of the media - they cannot turn it off just because they don’t like it
  • If you don’t want a public life, don’t become famous

Ideas/examples: Media are fair (2)

  • The public needs to know about corrupt politicians and businessmen
  • Many VIPs are role models. They should have good standards in both private AND public life
  • The media can focus on positive role models

Ideas/examples: Media are unfair (1)

  • Diana - chased to her death by photographers?
  • Michael Jackson - already judged guilty by media?
  • Clinton - unable to function as US President due to private life?
  • Beckham - children will never have normal lives
  • Only in some countries: not allowed in others
  • Ordinary people often not interested: media hype

Ideas/examples: Media are unfair (2)

  • Newspapers exist to make money - they just appeal to the lowest standard in us
  • Media can drive celebrities crazy
  • Too much attention can distract the celebrity from his or her real talent or work


  • Two kinds of introductions:
    • Situation (some places vs. other places, past vs. present)
    • Opinion (some people think vs. others think)
  • Both kinds have 3 sentences:
    • One side
    • Other side
    • Thesis (This essay will…)

Introduction A: (Past and Present)

  • One side: Before newspapers, television, and the internet, ordinary people were not exposed to endless stories about pop singers, princesses, and politicians.
  • Other side: Today however, we are bombarded with information about who is dating whom, where they eat, and what they wear at their weddings.
  • Thesis: Do we really need this information? This essay will discuss if famous people should have privacy or not.

Introduction B: (Two Opinions)

  • One side: Most ordinary people respect the rights of others to a private life.
  • Other side: However, some people are obsessed with celebrities and VIPS. They want to know everything about them, and have an insatiable desire for more information.
  • Thesis: This essay will discuss whether newspapers and TV should show us intimate details of famous people’s lives.

Introduction C: (Two Places)

  • One side: In some parts of the world, privacy is very important, even for VIPs.
  • Other side: However, in the US and many other countries, the personal life and family life of many famous people is public property.
  • Thesis: This essay will discuss whether newspapers and TV should show us intimate details of famous people’s lives.

Step 2: Layout

  • Use four paragraphs
  • Introduction 3 sentences
  • Body (agree or disagree) 7 sentences
  • Body (disagree or agree) 7 sentences
  • Conclusion 3 sentences
  • This is a total of 20 sentences, at 12 words per sentence – about 240 words


  • There are two paragraphs in the body
  • Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence

Body (One side: media should not interfere)

  • Famous people deserve privacy and respect. First of all, we should admire what they do, not who they are. If someone is a famous singer or footballer, we should enjoy their talent on the pitch or at a concert, but we should not invade their family or private life through the media. Secondly, the children and family of famous people should not be affected. Some stars have to hire security for their children or spouses because of media attention. Another point is that too much attention can affect celebrities. They begin to act strangely and lose touch with reality.

Body (Other side; media should examine VIP lives)

  • Although, generally speaking, the media should not interfere in people’s private lives, there are times when it is correct to do so. If a politician is becoming very rich, the media should investigate where the money is coming from. If a businessman is committing a crime, the public should know. It is also fair for the media to show contradictions between a famous people’s private and public lives. A further point is that media such as TV or papers are meeting a demand. We can make the media accountable by not buying rubbishy magazines or watching sensationalist programs


  • A good conclusion:
  • summarizes the two ideas (for and against) and
  • looks to the future and/or
  • gives your opinion


  • In conclusion, the responsibility lies with us, the consumers. We should treat celebrities the way we would like to be treated—with respect, and we should treat trashy media with the scorn it deserves.

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