Deception for Journalism's Sake: A Database

Deception for Journalism's Sake: A Database

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

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.

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.

In efforts to get inside the fold, reporters have fellow-traveled with religious groups, posing as members or prospective recruits.

A gathering of the undercover and experiential reporting of Elizabeth Cochrane, later Seaman, who wrote under the pen name of Nellie Bly.