Language:

Undercover reporting: Is it ethical?

With the technology and equipment available to journalists these days, doing undercover investigations has never been easier. Tiny hidden cameras and tape recorders that can be put in everything from eye glasses to pens are now available and easy to use. (Don't believe us? Click here.)

Undercover investigations are dramatic and can attract big readership or viewership, but they are also controversial from an ethical point of view, and some governments punish journalists who conduct them.

Is it legal to go undercover in your country? Do you think it is ethical? Why or why not?

It could be inevitable

Let me say that no matter what undercover reporting carries the baggage of ethical questions and issues of credibility. But like other considerations in deciding on newsworthiness the overriding concern should be serving public good. In a place like Nigeria where corruption is a way of life and where there is no access to public record, journalist are sometimes forced to device the most ingenious means to ferret out stories. I once went undercover in writing a story about how government drug law enforcers aide the trafficking of hard drugs in Nigeria. From this experience I can say that undercover reporting predisposes you to unethical conduct. However, as long as no law is broken or comes committed, overriding public interest might still be a justifiable excuse. Last word is that it must be employed only if no other means exists to get a story.

Its Unethtical but not illegal

In Malawi where there is no access to information law, undercover is the only last resort journalists are forced to take. Even though undercover could be argued as unethical, it is not illegal. What is more important is to get the right information.

شات مصرية - دردشة مصرية - شات

شات مصرية - دردشة مصرية - شات مصري

شات القاهرة ، دردشة القاهرة ، شات دردشة القاهرة ، شات دردشة جامعة القاهرة

شات الاسكندرية - دردشة الاسكندرية - شات دردشة الاسكندرية - شات دردشة جامعة الاسكندرية

شات المنصورة - دردشة المنصورة

شات البحيرة - دردشة البحيرة

شات الفيوم - دردشة الفيوم

شات الغربية - دردشة الغربية

شات الدقهلية - دردشة الدقهلية

شات الاسماعيلية - دردشة الاسماعيلية

شات الجيزة - دردشة الجيزة

شات المنوفية - دردشة المنوفية

شات المنيا - دردشة المنيا

شات البحر الاحمر - دردشة البحر الاحمر

شات القليوبية - دردشة القليوبية

شات الاقصر - دردشة الاقصر

شات الوادى الجديد - دردشة الوادى الجديد

شات الشرقية - دردشة الشرقية

شات السويس - دردشة السويس

شات اسوان - دردشة اسوان

شات اسيوط - دردشة اسيوط

شات بني سويف - دردشة بني سويف

شات بورسعيد - دردشة بورسعيد

شات دمياط - دردشة دمياط

شات كفر الشيخ - دردشة كفر الشيخ

شات مطروح - دردشة مطروح

شات قنا - دردشة قنا

شات جنوب سيناء - دردشة جنوب سيناء

شات شمال سيناء - دردشة شمال سيناء

شات سوهاج - دردشة سوهاج

شات عسل ـ دردشة عسل

شات الشلة ـ دردشة الشلة

شات فلة ـ دردشة فله

شات دردشة ـ دردشة دردشة

شات شبيك لبيك ـ دردشة شبيك لبيك

شات العنابى ـ دردشة العنابى

شات حب شات الحب دردشة حب حب شات حب شات حبي الحب شات دردشة مصرية شات مصرى شات مصرية دردشة مصراوية شات بنات مصر شات سوريا شات عمان شات لبنان شات بنات شات المنصورة شات القليوبية شات المنوفية دردشة ليبيا شات السودان شات اليمن دردشة بنات السعودية دردشة السعودية شات سعودي دردشة بنات فلسطين دردشة بنات الكويت شات بنات الامارات شات بنات البحرين دردشة قطرية دردشة بنات قطر شات بنات الاردن دردشة عربية شات بنات تونس شات القاهرة دردشة القاهرة دردشة الاسكندرية شات اليكس شات الجيزة دردشة الجيزة راديو اف ام Fm Radio راديو محطة مصر شات الجزائر دردشة الجزائر شات مغربي دردشة بنات المغرب شات الشلة شات دردشة شات دمياط شات بورسعيد اذاعة القران الكريم راديو قران كريم دردشه الغردقة شات شرم الشيخ دردشة الاقصر شات اسوان دردشه المنيا دردشة الحب شات حبنا شات دردشة شات غرام دردشة غرام شات عسل شات عشق شات سعودي كول شات العنابي شات الملك شات برق دردشة برق شات دلع شات لمسة حب شات شوبيك لوبيك شات تعب قلبي شات عسل راديو روتانا

Undercover journalism should

Undercover journalism should only be used after all other means have been exhausted. The reasoning behind the decision must be thoroughy explained in the resulting story. Undercover journalism can do huge harm to the credibility of journalists if it is used whimsically. In the current climate, this is credibility journalists can ill-afford to lose. Some media organisations do support the practice of undercover journalism, as long as other means to obtain the information have been exhausted. However these guidelines are very much open to interpretation. Journalists using these practices need to consider the damage that can be done by using undercover reporting methods. Firstly there is the ethical conundrum of whether the ends justify the means. If a journalist uncovers information that needs to be brought to the attention of the public, does that therefore justify the clandestine methods used to obtain that information? The concern is that the deceit on the part of the journalist sullies the critical information that is uncovered. Does a journalist dampen his credibility through the use of lies and chicanery? In India, Tehelka used deception and hidden cameras to expose match fixing' in cricket and, more importantly, to show how easily penetrable and corruptible a section of the military establishment was. Some of the methods used by Tehelka to acquire information were rightly criticised, particularly, the use of call girls in a flagrant exercise of entrapment. The central point is that investigative journalism that insists on going after information through deception and invasion of privacy can have only one serious defence: a larger social purpose. Relevant and purposeful undercover journalism is not merely acceptable under certain conditions but is an indispensable force for the social good. Journalism that relies on active deception and, more typically,passive' misrepresentation to acquire information must satisfy at least the following three professional ethical requirements. First, the information pursued must be directly and strongly linked to a larger social purpose. Secondly, the public value of such information must clearly outweigh the injury caused by the deception and the privacy violation. Thirdly, undercover methods must not be resorted to where the information can be gathered by straightforward means.

C.O.T Azeez Jeddah KSA

Undercover journalism should

Undercover journalism should only be used after all other means have been exhausted. The reasoning behind the decision must be thoroughy explained in the resulting story. Undercover journalism can do huge harm to the credibility of journalists if it is used whimsically. In the current climate, this is credibility journalists can ill-afford to lose. Some media organisations do support the practice of undercover journalism, as long as other means to obtain the information have been exhausted. However these guidelines are very much open to interpretation. Journalists using these practices need to consider the damage that can be done by using undercover reporting methods. Firstly there is the ethical conundrum of whether the ends justify the means. If a journalist uncovers information that needs to be brought to the attention of the public, does that therefore justify the clandestine methods used to obtain that information? The concern is that the deceit on the part of the journalist sullies the critical information that is uncovered. Does a journalist dampen his credibility through the use of lies and chicanery? In India, Tehelka used deception and hidden cameras to expose match fixing' in cricket and, more importantly, to show how easily penetrable and corruptible a section of the military establishment was. Some of the methods used by Tehelka to acquire information were rightly criticised, particularly, the use of call girls in a flagrant exercise of entrapment. The central point is that investigative journalism that insists on going after information through deception and invasion of privacy can have only one serious defence: a larger social purpose. Relevant and purposeful undercover journalism is not merely acceptable under certain conditions but is an indispensable force for the social good. Journalism that relies on active deception and, more typically,passive' misrepresentation to acquire information must satisfy at least the following three professional ethical requirements. First, the information pursued must be directly and strongly linked to a larger social purpose. Secondly, the public value of such information must clearly outweigh the injury caused by the deception and the privacy violation. Thirdly, undercover methods must not be resorted to where the information can be gathered by straightforward means.

C.O.T Azeez Jeddah KSA

As a free lance journalist

As a free lance journalist and a newspaper reporter, in these United States, it is a badge of courage to be a journalist/reporter, especially for anyone in other countries. It is an unstated, unspoken rule that a journalist/reporter is seeking the truth, is an investigator of facts. It is a silent acknowledgement of society that the journalist/reporter will always be listening, even at personal parties and social events: always in search of what is going on, the real truth. This becomes second nature, or their sixth sense developed. They can listen off the record, and not attribute the information to the source, but that off the record information or rumor, will become the catalyst and the fuel to continue their quest for the research to the fullness of truth, facts and the exposure of whatever the facade may be. This is what wearing the title of professional journalist/reporter is. The emotional, the timid soul and the person looking for acceptance and popularity, should resign and apply their skills and talents to another profession.

It is ethical in an unethical

It is ethical in an unethical political climate. Undercover reporting did not come about out of the pleasure to report the news. It was the only way to beat the many obstacles that journalists face every day in the pursuit of their duty. One good thing about it is that dictators and corrupt officials hate it. As such it serves as a wake-up call. Let it be.

Aroun Rashid Deen New York

The stories that undercover

The stories that undercover reporters normally cover are normally kept secret while they are of human interest and should be exposed. The work of a journalist is to enlighten the audience and let them know about what they dint know about or expound further on what they dont have details on. Well in this case I think undercover reporter is the hero journalist because they cover EXACTLY WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW BUT DINT KNOW http://www.bmiruka.blogspot.com Thanks!!

In Australia we're the centre

In Australia we're the centre for a couple big media conglomerates and the 'mainstream' media here are part of the public sector corruption that the Fourth Estate are meant to scrutinize.

In a wealthy country with great conditions - why are there so many human rights violations that go completely rubber stamped? Since the Royal Commission, how many Indigenous people have mysteriously had "heart attacks" during arrest, or suffered a variety of other benign, un-newsworthy ways of dying - but always, only once they are in custody? All done without mainstream media scrutiny. The death of Mr Ward & Cameron Doomadgee are the first to attract any media since the death of John Pat decades ago, but it is more prevalent than that, and many victims don't have family and communities to fight for their cases to be exposed, many deaths are just covered up or the investigations are botched. Authorities suggested police should have cameras on their hats - it didn't happen.

Maybe we do need to do covert investigation here. If there was a place to publish honest expose's of the government, it should be done - but there is no market for it here, except on tawdry tabloid tv current affairs programs that only want superficial, meaningless stories, they don't want to catch out the real perpetrators of human rights abuses, corruption or white collar crime. The only option is some sort of organization like Wikileaks.

It could be both, ethical or

It could be both, ethical or not. But there are situations where undercover reporting is the only a way out. A colleague of mine here in Malawi recently investigated a story undercover and uncovered that some officials at Road Traffic department were selling drivers' licenses to people that had never been to any driving school. Upon notifying Anti-Corruption Bureau, he sent a gardener, who had never been to a driving school, to access a driving licence. He got one within a week. If he went official, there was no way he was going to uncover this, it was a big story and he won an award with it . I think undercover reporting is ok.

Undercover reporting is quite

Undercover reporting is quite alright if the reported is maintained by public fund. Muza - Sri Lanka

Yes, you are right!

Yes, you are right! Especially in a situation or condition that does not favor you to reveal your identity. When you are in a country like North Korea, Iran or Burma, undercover reporting is the only way you can get the right information. I am from one of the above Nations.

Finding the truth and

Finding the truth and exposing this is one of the tasks of a journalist. There are many cases wherein journalists are able to uncover this which have helped in investigations of cases. I believe that it becomes unethical when in doing this, the rights of another person is violated.

I don't think its ethical to

I don't think its ethical to use these devices secretly. But since its hard for jounalists in many countries to have access to information and politician see transparency as a bad word, journalists might seek for alternative ways to still get the news, to take it to the people, whom rightful deserves it. Colleagues doing this: watch out, there is a thin line between 'undercover investigation' and espionage/spying. The second one can make you end up in jail, indeed. Fenny Zandgrond Journalist-Suriname

I am a journalist in New York

I am a journalist in New York City. Undercover Reporting is the only way to find out the truth in many cases for many stories, because nobody has an interest to share the truth.

Post new comment

Google Translate