“Brooke Kroeger on James O’Keefe and Undercover Reporting”: A CJR Podcast

CJR Podcast: Columbia Journalism Review, March 11, 2011, on iTunes

The Kicker:


Is James O’Keefe a “journalist”? Does it matter? Do the political goals of an undercover reporter—or activist—affect the value of the truths he or she reveals? How does a hidden camera compare to a faked identity, when there’s a story to be told? What are the “best practices for undercover” reporting—or are there any?

In CJR’s latest podcast, assistant editor Joel Meares speaks with Brooke Kroeger, director of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University to explore some of these questions. Kroeger is the author of a biography of Nellie Bly, and has become somewhat of an expert on American journalism’s long history of undercover reporting. She recently previewed a database archive of such stories, which grew out of an upcoming book entitled Undercover Reporting: The Truth about Deception.

In this conversation, Kroeger argues that undercover reporting is incredibly valuable for its power to reveal truths and affect reform in our society, and that it should not be dismissed by the more traditional journalistic community; just look at the results, she says. In fact, she points out, mainstream news outlets have often partnered with advocacy groups to do this kind of work, all throughout the history of journalism in the US.

Listen to the episode … and be sure to check out the CJR podcast homepage on iTunes, where you can listen to past episodes and subscribe for free.


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Upcoming events 2018: March 20: UN Bookshop  March 25: NEW DATE: League of Women Voters of Westchester Champagne Fundraiser April 22: Nassau County Historical Society  at the Jericho Public LibraryApril 29: St. George’s School. May 12: East Hampton Library’s Tom Twomey Series (interviewing NYTimes media columnist, Jim RutenbergMay 20: Women’s Suffrage and NYC: A Centennial Celebration Symposium: Bronx Historical Society and Woodlawn Cemetery  June 14: Roosevelt Island Historical Society. July 7 East Hampton Library’s Tom Twomey Series (hosting with Sara Davison the garden author and expert Charlotte M. Frieze) : August 4: Shelter Island Historical Society.

The Suffragents in the news: Reviews of the book .  . . Notices and articles about the Suffragents . . . Brooke’s articles in various publications . . .The Suffragents on Facebook . . .  and Brooke’s “Summer Camp Newsletters,”  the photo-laden logs I post right after events.