"Is Undercover Over?" - Aaron Swartz - FAIR

"Is Undercover Over?" - Aaron Swartz - FAIR

Disguise Seen as Deceit by Timid Journalists

by: Aaron Swartz | publication date: March 1, 2008 | Publication: FAIR |

"The piece on lobbyists, he and his editor insist, was not just done to investigate the particular lobbying firms, but to reawaken journalists to the power of undercover reporting. 'There was this meta level in the planning that asked, 'How will the journalism establishment react?'' Harper's editor Roger Hodge told a reporter (AJR, 10/07). "The fact that undercover journalism has fallen out of fashion seems to be a problem with the profession."

In the aftermath of Ken Silverstein's Turkmenistan sting for Harper's, Swartz examines the reluctance of many media organizations to undertake these projects and the negative response in some quarters to Silverstein's ruse.

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