While some newspaper publishers use the term "Paparazzi" to cover all photographers, the word usually takes on more negative connotations - those of gutter journalism and invasions of privacy.
This is a staple of pretty much any work of fiction dealing with celebrities - the characters will inevitably have to deal with paparazzi who are looking for a story to sell at some point, no matter how it affects the lives of the story's subjects, or what laws the paparazzi break in the process of getting the story. This can be considered the Jerk Ass flipside or Evil Counterpart to the Intrepid Reporter.
Rich source of Paranoia Fuel.
The paparazzi are Acceptable Targets and may well be victims of a Take That. Typically they are working for a Strawman News Media outlet.
"Papped" has become a verb for being photographed by these people.
in Digimon Savers, Yoshino gets pursued down the street when she's linked with a pop singer.
Blassreiter likes to portray all news media as swarming, sensationalist vultures whenever the Demoniacs (especially Gerd) is involved. It gets to the point where it seems like the XAT's job is half dealing with the Demoniacs and half dealing with the seemingly omnipresent news choppers and vans.
THE iDOLM@STER - A Paparazzi is hired by Kuroi to dig up dirt on the 765PRO Idols.
Hyraxx De Mofiti from Buck Godot probably counts. She's a tabloid journalist that at first keeps chasing after Buck in order to find answers for such questions as what colour of clothes does the resident Sufficiently Advanced Alien wears and whther or not the space station is haunted by Elvis. Later on she ends up helping Buck by digging up some information he needs, tho.
Peter Parker. Yes, he has been this. In his first meeting with Doctor Octopus he catches the man holding some hospital staff hostage. All fine and well...but the only reason Peter was at that hospital in the first place was that the police and the hospital had refused to let the press in to take photos of Octopus, who at the time was little more than the victim of a horrible lab accident. In other words, Peter broke into a hospital to secretly take pictures of an injured man. He's totally nonchalant about it too and made a remark along the lines of "I've never heard of a hospital keeping people ''out'' with regards to his plan to sneak in.
In preparation for starring in and directing The Interview Steve Buscemi spent some time disguised as a paparazzi photographer.
He also played a paparazzi photographer in "Delirious".
The film Spice World includes a paparazzo that stalks the Spice Girls, trying to get some story out of them. He apparently has superpowers that include being able to travel through the plumbing and emerge out of a toilet. However, he still fails to get anything until near the end, where he gets pictures of the Spice Girls' friend after childbirth, prompting the girls to chase him down. Once they catch him, he becomes a whimpering moron (something they actually comment on).
The rare paparazzi hero: Leon Bernstein (played by Joe Pesci) in The Public Eye. Based on the real life photog Weegee.
In That Old Feeling, Bette Midler plays a movie star who is frequently chased by a certain paparazzo.
The film Papparazzi is about an actor who's life is almost destroyed by evil paps who cause a car accident that land the actor's nine-year-old son in the hospital in intensive care, break into his home, harass and terrify the rest of his family, etc. He then spends the rest of the movie murdering all the paparazzi that wronged him.
And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird!: After reporter Alice hears about Josh and Max's secret robot, she pursues the story to the point of breaking and entering and airing footage obtained from shooting through house windows.
Hallis Saper, a documentarian in Starfighters of Adumar, is mentioned to have gotten her start in "sludgenews", Star Wars' equivalent. It did teach her some valuable lessons.
In Death: Just about every reporter, except for Nadine Furst, is this.
Carl Hiaasen's Star Island has celebrity/paparazzi interaction, with a pop-star celebrity (and her double) and one obsessed paparazzo as the main plot.
The Honor Harrington series features paparazzi in a few novels. They're the only foe Honor is afraid to face. If the paparazzi are after her, she usually just stays aboard her ship.
In War of Honor, her political enemies use the paparazzi to suggest that Honor is having an affair with Admiral White Haven, who is married (and to one of the nation's most beloved celebrities, no less). She isn't, but she and White Haven are in love by that point. After Honor and White Haven do initiate an affair in the next novel, At All Costs, and Honor gets pregnant, the paparazzi find out. In one scene, some suggest alternate candidates for the father of Honor's son, including White Haven's brother (the current Prime Minister) and Protector Benjamin Mayhew of Grayson (who is easily the least likely person in the entire Honorverse to ever have an extramarital affair).
Averted for the Graysons. While Grayson has freedom of the press, their conservative culture just wouldn't tolerate that sort of intrusion into someone's private affairs.
Digger Downs in Wild Cards. He works for the Aces magazine, which is a tabloid exposing the private life of people with superpowers. He is a really unpleasant guy which will do everything to write a paper, but he is more a nuisance than a really evil person. He sometimes even does real journalism.
In Feed, Georgia mentions having done some time among paparazzi groups when she and Shaun needed the extra income. She points out that in her world, this was also professionally useful to her by accustoming her to being in large groups of people, which is something most people in her post-Zombie Apocalypse world simply don't do but that a working reporter needs to be able to cope with.
Through Alien Eyes has the first alien representatives coming to Earth, so naturally the media is quite interested. Ukatonen is deeply offended when he's interrupted in a garden he uses to relax after a hard day.
Adam-12: The episode "Good Cop: Handle With Care" (from early in the series' second year) had a pair of rogue journalists — one armed with a camera, their car outfitted with a police radio) — targeting cops to fish for a police brutality story; eventually, officers Reed and Malloy become their marks. Throughout the course of the episode, the "journalists" use many of the tactics associated with the paparazzi as they harass the officers as they respond to a dead body call and deliver a death message to a woman. The main incident sees the pair take incriminating pictures of the officers as they deal with a stoned suspect; while taking him in for booking, the suspect began shaking uncontrollably and hit his nose against the seat frame of the car while Reed was trying to control him – the "reporter" half of the duo makes it out to be a case of police brutality. In the end, the journalists show up as Reed and Malloy are trying to take three bank robbery suspects into custody; Malloy tells them to leave, but they insist on staying and — claiming they had not been read their rights, and that they had been arrested at random — provoke one of the criminals into shooting an innocent bystander (who later dies). The journalists are deeply remorseful as Malloy tells them, "Now you know (they really were robbers)."
An episode of You're Under Arrest! featured a celebrity who was driving dangerously, due to the paparazzi chasing him.
Which, when you think about it, might be a callback to the accusations that paparazzi were responsible for the crash of Princess Diana's car, due to them pursuing the car she was in, which went to unsafe speeds to get away from them and caused said crash.
An episode of Law & Order had the victim of the week get chased into oncoming traffic by a paparazzo who wanted her opinion on her husband's affair. Once he was found to not be complicit in her death, he got shot; when his death is announced at a restaurant frequented by the rich and powerful, everyone applauds.
The mockumentary Being Michael Madsen is basically Michael Madsen vs. the papparazzi, who are trying to implicate him in the disappearance of a young actress. Of course we don't really blame the papparazzi because Madsen is Adam Westing in the vein of every psycho he's ever played.
Paparazzi are one of Bill O'Reilly 's major targets. Which is made doubly hilarious because he is a huge fan of ambush interviews and made his name working for Inside Edition, a Live Action Tabloid. The Daily Show played a clip where he transitioned from an ambush interview on a bus to an exasperated condemnation of Paparazzi without pausing.
The third series of Primeval features a journalist who chases the protagonists around, trying to get proof of their work and expose it to the public. He and his boss are crushed underfoot by a Giganotosaurus while trying to film it.
Not to mention the Series Two special Through the Anomaly...
"Don't you just hate the Paparazzi?" *click* [sighs and shakes head]
An annoying guy who seems determined to annoy the protagonist is a recurring character in Hannah Montana, once following her home to find out where she lived. It gets worse when Miley is forced to pretend that her brother is her boyfriend.
In the episode "Ships in the Night" of NCIS, the team is trying to track down the Paparazzi to see if they can confirm the alibi of a suspect. Leading to the following conversation:
Tony: Checking into the paparazzi, boss.
Ziva: For being everywhere, they're surprisingly difficult to track down.
A significant antagonising force in The Thick of It. For instance, one manages to get a photo of a sheet on which the Opposition were brainstorming policy names, resulting in the dreadful end product of a Wiki Walk ("quiet Bat-people") being broadcasted out of context across all of the papers. Another one corners Nicola attempting to get a shot of her next to a protester in a pork chop costume. Another one gets a shot of two Coalition politicians standing on children's play equipment at a party conference, attempting to get signals on their phones, but instead looking like they're playing like kids on the day a significant disaster happened. These all happen in one season.
The former TNA tag team Paparazzi Productions, consisting of Alex Shelley, Johnny Devine, a cheap digital camcorder and a complete lack of shame.
Also MNM had their own personal paparazzi who would snap photos of them as they walked to the ring and sometimes stick around to take pictures of their matches as well. This was dropped for Joey Mercury while he was fired and Melina once she turned Face, while Johnny Nitro stopped it shortly after becoming John Morrison. Well, Melina really dropped it once Rosa Mendes infiltrated them.
The music video for Michael Jackson's "Leave Me Alone" (the song itself isn't actually about the media). Other songs reflecting on or inspired by his relationship with the media include "Scream", "D.S.", and "Stranger in Moscow" (HIStory), "Privacy" (Invincible), and "Breaking News" (Michael, the posthumously assembled album).
Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" predates popular use of the term, but is a screaming Take That to the callous, superficial, and sensationalistic hack journalism that keeps paparazzi in business.
"Weird Al" Yankovic's "TMZ" starts out as a song about how paparazzi harass celebrities, then halfway through changes to pointing out that a number of things that celebrities do in view of the press are really stupid.
Jay Chou's "Besieged From All Sides" note 四面楚歌 is a thinly-veiled Take That on the paparazzi, who are portrayed as dogs in the song.
Aya Shameimaru, the tenguIntrepid Reporter and Hot Scoop of the Touhou setting is often portrayed in Fanon as a Paparazza. It seems to extend to canon in Double Spoiler, where Reimu reveals she's developed several spellcards specifically to counter the camera.
She returns again in the third game. Renegades can punch her out again note but be quick on the right trigger: she'll dodge the first time and knock you out if you mess up the second interrupt, while Paragons get an interruptof their own.
After her experiences with "real ghosts" at Kurain Temple in Ace Attorney, Lotta Hart switches to celebrity photography.
In Alan Wake, the titular character once punched a paparazzo.
In The Sims 3, if your Sim becomes a high-level celebrity, paparazzi will flock to his or her house. In some cases, they can actually enter the houses without being invited if you don't sufficiently protect the door, and evicting them requires cheats; otherwise, they'll only leave when they're good and ready to (only to return later).
The first Bioshock game features a minor character simply called Paparazzi (technically grammatically incorrect, since there's only one of him). His one Audio Diary can be found next to what is presumably his body, next to a camera pointed at Frank Fontaine's window. There's not much information on who he was or how he died, but considering who he was spying on...
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: A paparazzo named Exposa once 'flashed' Ickis, snapping his picture and attempting to reveal the existence of monsters with a front-page headline.
Homer Simpsons briefly took this gig, and takes photos of Springfield's celebrities at their worst. The celebrities fought back and hired another paparazzo to take embarrassing pictures of Homer. Homer retaliates by taking more picture of them all in a night club doing some more celebrity excesses, but he will not publish the photos if the celebrities would do some generous acts for a change.
The pioneer of the method was Ron Galella, who had a rough deal: Marlon Brando broke his jaw and knocked out four of his teeth, Brigitte Bardot enlisted some friends to soak him with a hose, and Richard Burton's bodyguards beat him up and had him tossed in a Mexican jail.
The paparazzi were involved in the deaths of Princess Diana and her then-boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed, being a factor in the occurrence of the fatal crash — according to the official inquest, anyway.
It deserves noting that, at least in the US, there are no prerequisites (such as background checks or training) to becoming a member of the paparazzi. All you need is a camera and connections to sell the photos - and the fewer qualms you have about doing borderline illegal/immoral actions to get said shots, the more profitable your career becomes.
Marilyn Manson's interactions with them tend to be varied (ranging from deer-in-headlights terror in reaction to a nymphomaniac independent one suggesting he should piss in Twiggy's ass to joking with them), but the crowning achievement in paparazzi idiocy was the time they confused him with Michael Jackson... after Jackson's death. He was completely dumbfounded by the stupidity.
When Kylie Minogue returned to Australia for breast cancer treatment, media and fans began to congregate outside the Minogue residence in Melbourne, prompting Victorian premier Steve Bracks to warn the media against breaching Australian privacy laws.
Pierce Brosnan (of James Bond fame) and his family were hounded by a photographer. Feeling that enough was enough, he walloped the fellow. That'll teach him not to mess with James Bond.
Another rare heroic case, though not at first. While not a photographer, 1930s nigh universally maligned celebrity reporter Walt Winchell stunned the US by taking on his publisher, William Randolph Hearst, then using his precious little radio time to do something almost no other reporter had done... speak out against the Holocaust and Adolf Hitler.