Deception for Journalism's Sake: A Database

Deception for Journalism's Sake: A Database

Since the 1870s, journalists have been posing as patients or attendants to expose horrid conditions and treatment inside mental hospitals. Nellie Bly, incidentally, was not the first. 

Reporters encounter or inhabit the lives of very hard-laboring others.

Undercover journalism has been the subject of heated discussions, especially since the late 1970s, and whenever an undercover sting causes a stir.

These are examples of undercover reportage that were considered to have crossed ethical lines or that caused major legal wrangles.

Reporters have worked as migrant laborers and shadowed undocumented workers crossing the border into the United States.

Reporters have worked as guards or gotten themselves arrested -- sometimes with the aid of authorities and sometimes without -- to investigate conditions inside prisons and jails.

Redpath, Olcott, Richardson and Thomson all went South for the New York Tribune and produced reporting undercover in the run-up to the Civil War.

Journalists from the United States and Australia get inside the post-Civil War practice of recruiting Pacific Islanders to work the world's non-U.S. plantations on extended contracts of indenture.