Jess Cagle’s First Big People Magazine Decision: No More Unsanctioned Celebrity Kid Pics

This is quite honestly the best thing we’ve read in weeks. It’s also an editorial directive that should compel Alec Baldwin to WOOT! loud enough to be heard in suburbia.

Incoming People magazine editorial director Jess Cagle today explains how he quickly decided after arriving in January that the publication would no longer make use of guerilla-style photos of the young sons and daughters of celebrities. From his Editor’s Letter:

The editors at People have always been careful when dealing with photos of kids, but in the past few months our sensitivity has been significantly heightened, and our editorial practices have changed accordingly. When I took over as editorial director in January, I told our staff that People would not publish photos of celebs’ kids taken against their parents’ wishes, in print or online.

Of course, we still run a lot of sanctioned photos… But we have no interest in running kids’ photos taken under duress.

The only caveat from Cagle is that there might be a “rare” exception to this policy when the newsworthiness of the pic warrants. Also, his policy change does not scrub the previous use of such photos, as several commenters have been quick to claim:

Guest: And yet when you click on “Babies” at the top, there is a prominent photo of Jennifer Garner holding her son in an obviously paparazzi/non-sanctioned photo. Click on it and it takes you to a whole slide show of candid photos of kids. Hmmm… actions speak much louder than words.

Will Believe It When I See It: The picture you had published of Suri Cruise in her dance or gymnastics leotard was disgusting. Actually, that was one of the most tasteless things I have seen in any magazine. It was a hidden photog from your magazine sneaking a picture of a kid. So gross.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.