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Investigative Journalism VS Sting: The fight of ethics in Media


During the Leveson inquiry in the United Kingdom, there were many references to journalistic "dark arts". Much less attention was paid, however, to the much more common problem of journalism's grey areas. These are especially obvious when undercover reporting methods and elaborate subterfuge are used.

Editors overseeing such investigations must ask themselves several questions. The first one is the most crucial of all: is there enough prima facie evidence of wrongdoing by a person to warrant a sophisticated sting operation?

It is not regarded as legitimate to go fishing in the hope of catching someone. And there is where the first grey area opens.


What is investigative journalism?

Investigative journalism is finding, reporting, and presenting news which other people try to hide. It is very similar to standard news reporting, except that the people at the center of the story will usually not help you and may even try to stop you from doing your job.

The job of journalists is to let people know what is going on in the community, the society and the world around them. Journalists do this by finding facts and telling them to their readers or listeners.


In much of their work, the facts are easy to find in such places as the courts and parliaments, disasters, public meetings, churches, and sporting events. People are usually happy to provide journalists with the news.


Indeed, in many countries, thousands of people work full time in public relations, giving statements, comments, press releases, and other forms of information to journalists.



What is Sting Journalism?

A Sting Operation is an operation designed to catch a person committing a crime by means of deception. A complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care.


Why Sting should not be made practice?

Sting is an operation. Investigative Journalism is part of journalism. It is important to understand that the defendant in the story is know-all of things mentioned in the story. The fairness and credibility of the article, journalist, and even media house is based on whether appropriate time was given to the party alleged to respond.


Even though the NY Times did a story on the US government’s snooping tools but sought a response before publishing the story.


Sting operations are every now and again guarded on the ground that the media has a commitment to put the unscrupulous criminals in the sight of people when the law- enforcement agencies are unwilling to do so. However, without a strong arrangement of standards and regulations, these operations can similarly change into a race to build greater viewership ratings.

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