Why Celebrity Charity Instagrams Are Making Headlines

As someone who keeps close tabs on all celebrity and pop culture happenings, I was a little surprised. Typically, celebrity couples choose to announce engagements, pregnancies, and births through outlets like PEOPLE, Us Weekly, and, if they want to allow journalists to pry a little more, Vanity Fair and Vogue. This exchange of goods is long established; celebrities give publications access to newsworthy life updates, and the publications give them coverage, relevance, and an opportunity for a controlled appearance in the public eye. Sometimes, magazines will pay for an exclusive, like in the famous bidding war for the first photos of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt in 2006. (Time Warner won the bid at $4.1 million; Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie very publicly donated the money to charitable organisations, a process that was repeated when the couple had twins in 2008.) Compared to the magazine covers announcing a celebrity’s split, or perceived downfall, a star willingly sharing good news is a rare moment of publicity bliss. It’s the celebrity gossip industrial complex at work, and it’s changing in front of our eyes on Instagram. 

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