The Ethics Of Undercover Journalism Essay

1627 Words Nov 2nd, 2016 7 Pages
Undercover journalism is used in order to expose truth without the reporter being noticed as a journalist on the job. One undercover reporter, John Kelly, roamed a school in order to reveal the level of security in the building. Kelly asked the administration about the security of the school, and then asked where the restroom is located. Kelly purposely walked a different direction, and once the staff noticed they contacted the law enforcement. The school was under lockdown, the children were frightened, class was disrupted, and parents were alarmed. Some individuals argue that undercover journalism is worth the havoc in order to expose the truth, while others claim that this case was too harmful to the children and too disruptive to the class schedule. I argue that if Kelly described his intentions to only one school officer or security guard before he began, then once the administration was ready to act, the officer could have explained the situation. This alternative would align with four ethical lenses: consequences, deserved treatment, contextual communication ethics, and codes, procedures, and standards in communication ethics.
The stakeholders in this case include John Kelly, children at the school, the parents, law enforcement, teachers, other reporters, and St. Louis news channel KSDK. John Kelly is a stakeholder because he is the undercover journalist. If he does not act ethically, then he could lose his job. Also, his reputation as a reporter is…

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