Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception

August 1, 2012

In this provocative book, Brooke Kroeger argues for a reconsideration of the place of oft-maligned journalistic practices. While it may seem paradoxical, much of the valuable journalism of the past century and a half has emerged from undercover investigations or those that employ various forms of subterfuge and deception to expose wrong. Kroeger asserts that undercover work is not a separate world but rather it embodies a central discipline of good reporting–the ability to extract significant information or to create indelible, real-time descriptions of hard-to-penetrate institutions or social situations that deserve the public’s attention.

The book’s companion Undercover Reporting database has been created in collaboration with NYU Libraries. It is a hand-curated resource for scholars, journalists and student researchers that gathers some of the best investigative work of the past nearly 200 years. It is searchable by keyword, reportorial theme, media outlet, date, or author, or can be browsed by series.

The CJR podcast titled “Brooke Kroeger,” listed midway down the page, provides a good explanation of the  project.

Undercover Reporting serves as a rallying call for an endangered aspect of the journalistic endeavor.

A downloadable postcard, front and back: