1 April 2014
“Audit Notes: WSJ’s Obamacare fram, undercover, too big to fail
— Check out this great site from NYU on undercover reporting and its role in the great stories of the last 150 years.
This collaboration with NYU Libraries collects many decades of high-impact, sometimes controversial, mostly U.S.-generated journalism that used undercover techniques. It grows out of the research for Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception (Northwestern University Press, 2012), which argues that much of the valuable journalism since before the U.S. Civil War has emerged from investigations that employed subterfuge to expose wrong. It asserts that undercover work, though sometimes criticized as deceptive or unethical, embodies a central tenet of good reporting—to extract significant information or expose hard-to-penetrate institutions or social situations that deserve the public’s attention. The site, designed as a resource for scholars, student researchers and journalists, collects some of the best investigative work going back almost two centuries.
Look at the “Other People’s Work” section, which highlights dozens of undercover reports ranging from the mattress factories of Minnesota in 1888 to a Toronto Star report from last year on child labor in Bangladesh. Fascinating.
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Video, event summaries from recent talks in Reports from the Road.
Upcoming Virtual Events: “The Branded Journalist: Nellie Bly Changes the Game.” Ephemera Society of America, Jan. 14, 2020, 3pm. Nellie Bly: Pioneer of Investigative Journalism.” American Woman Writers National Museum, March 10, 2021, at noon;