Going undercover as volunteers or invited guests has gotten reporters an inside look at some U.S. political campaigns. So has shadowing the candidates in their off-hours.
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 have taken the undercover route from slaughterhouses and chicken- and pork-processing plants to fast-food chains and supermarkets to understand the system.
Medicare and Medicaid fraud have been perennial reporting topics since the 1960s, often requiring undercover techniques to amass specific details.
These are stings to expose scam artists, quacks and hucksters who prey on the needs or naivete of their customers, clients, or patients.
Across the world, journalists have used undercover techniques to expose individual predators and as well as major sex crime rings.
These are examples of undercover reportage that were considered to have crossed ethical lines or that caused major legal wrangles.
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