Madonna’s Fall Could Have Been Prevented By a Media Code Of Conduct

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Out-Of-Control Paparazzi, Publications and News Outlets could Regulate Behavior to Prevent Celebrity Injuries

Madonna’s fall off a horse on Saturday was reported by the singer to be caused by a paparazzi jumping out of some bushes and spooking the animal. The singer was rushed to the hospital for treatment of her injuries. The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative calls on all media to sign on to the Human Privacy and Respect in the Media Code of Conduct before someone else gets hurt.

“It’s a bit like the wild west out there,” said Sean Burke, founder of The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative ( “The paparazzi are out of control. They’re free to harass whoever they wish because they know the laws have no bite. Much like Dodge City before the law rode into town, it’s a free-for-all. This weekend they allegedly jumped out of bushes on private property and indirectly caused Madonna injury. In Los Angeles we regularly see paparazzi chasing celebrities in caravans across the city, running lights and ignoring driving laws. It amazes me a pedestrian hasn’t gotten killed yet. It’s time for reform before someone else gets hurt.”

Understanding that the aggressiveness of the paparazzi is only driven by the media outlets that purchase the photographs, The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative has formulated a voluntary code of conduct that, if adopted, would bring increased safety and civility to the streets, as well as to those in the spotlight.


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 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 in danger or clearly caused him or her emotional distress.

“We aren’t looking to rid the world of paparazzi,” Burke said. “We just think actions need to be taken now to rein them in a bit before someone else gets hurt. Twelve years ago, when we lost Princess Diana, many vowed to do something to prevent it from happening again. Well, time has passed and the urgency to fix the system is gone. The craziness continues. I hate to think we need another tragedy before we again agree reform is needed.”

The public is encouraged to visit The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative website at to print out the code of conduct and mail it to their favorite magazine, celebrity internet site or entertainment news program encouraging them all to sign it.

About The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative:

The PAPARAZZI Reform Initiative (The PRI) ( was founded in February, 2009, by a professional bodyguard with years of experience dealing with the paparazzi. Seeing the abuses and dangerousness getting worse, he established The PRI in an effort to educate the public on the paparazzi industry - how the individuals in it behave, how it has gotten out of control and how no one would wish this kind of harassment on another human being. His hope, and the purpose of The PRI, is to effect reform that restores order to our streets and privacy for those in the spotlight.

The PRI mission statement: A safer environment for the public and the restoration of the right to privacy and a more hospitable environment worldwide for celebrities (artists, sports figures and corporate leaders) and others in the spotlight through education, legal action, lobbying and other effective methods.


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