Clusters

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The original Pulitzer-Prize-winning series by Washington Post reporters Anne Hull and Dana Priest about the poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

A full two years before The Washington Post reported on Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Salon.com reporter Walter Benjamin published a series of articles on the hospital. While Washington Post reporters Anne Hull and Dana Priest won Pulitzers, Benjamin's work drew relatively little attention at the time.

The popular humorist often used the undercover ruse in his work for The New York Tribune. In this instance, he posed as a client to visit a number of New York's purveyors of the "black arts" to expose their scams. The series preceded his pose as a slave buyer to cover the Butler auction in Savannah.

Olcott volunteered to cover the hanging of John Brown for the New York Tribune when the newspaper's regular correspondent had to flee under threat of Southern ire at his dispatches. He posed as a member of the Petersburg Grays, one of the regiments sent to Charles Town to guard Brown's body.

Redpath inaugurated a "Facts of Slavery" column for the New York Tribune, curating slave sale information from the Southern press, and later went South to interview slaves so they could have a forum for relating their experiences in their own words. He later took jobs at Southern newspapers and surreptitiously sent reports back north in the guise of letters to relatives in Minnesota. They, in turn, under prior arrangement, forwarded the reports to editors.

The popular humorist and New York Tribune columnist used the undercover ruse often in his newspaper work. In this instance, he visited a number of New York purveyors of "the black arts" and exposed their cons.

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.

George Morrison was a twenty-year-old Australian medical student looking for an adventurous diversion after failing his intermediate exam. He self-styled an assignment to see how the labor trade of Queensland worked in 1882, signing on to sail as an ordinary seaman aboard the Lavinia.Three months later, the ship returned from its "blackbirding" expedition with a new batch of recruits from the New Hebrides and Banks. Morrison wrote an eight-part travelogue for The Leader, and later, provided a more critical view for The Age

J.D. Melvin, at the behest of his editors at the Argus, gets a job as a supercargo aboard the Helena on a round-trip journey from Queensland to the Solomon Islands.  He observes and participates in the return of 60 workers at the completion of their work contracts, and the recruitment and transport of 90 new workers from the islands. 

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.

Boston Globe reporter Richard H. Stewart spent six days in a Salem jail on a staged drunk driving conviction and wrote about his stay in a five-part-series called "Doing Time." In it, he describes everything from the conditions pf the facilities, the feeling of being confined to a cell for 13 hours a day and even the revealing and often emotional group alcohol counselling sessions he was required to attend as part of his sentence. The series ran almost as a cautionary tale during the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve.  

San Francisco Chronicle prisons investigation involving undercover as a prisoner by Tim Findley and as a guard by Charles Howe.

Arizona Daily Star reporter R.H. Ring spent 10 days posing as a maximum-security convict at Arizona's Florence State Penitentiary. Very few people in the prison system knew of his stay, not even Florence's warden.

One of a number of high-impact undercover investigations undertaken by the New York World Telegram & Sun in the 1960s, including Woody Klein's worst tenement series, Dale Wright's migrant workers series, and George N. Allen's Undercover Teacher. Mok's series won the prestigious Albert Lasker Medical Journalism Award and the Heywood Broun Memorial Award.

Journalists have devised any number of ruses to get inside hospitals and clinics --  as patients or staff members.

Frank Smith's series, under the editorship of Louis Ruppel at the Chicago Daily Times, got national attention and was, according to Time, a real circulation-builder for the newspaper.

Thompson's assignment was to create a new identity for himself, join "the new Klan," and spend a few months observing it from the inside. (In the newsroom, the cover story was that Thompson had gone into rehab.) That time undercover stretched into a year and a half. His work complemented a major series on the new Klan. As his editor, John Seigenthaler, wrote in the preface to the book that followed: "To get behind their pious platitudes and expose what they really stood for, it was necessary for Thompson to misrepresent who he was.

Sinclair's novel on immigrant life in the US is most famous for its description of the meatpacking industry. The author interviewed workers extensively and blended in at the plants to do his research over the course of more than a month.

Jack London's first-hand account of life in London's East End, sleeping on the street or in work houses some of the time.

A Pulitzer Prize winning series on medicaid fraud in New York.

Reporters, hired to work with phony references in nursing homes for the poor, uncover filthy conditions, unqualified employees (as evidenced by their own hiring), and undignified care of the elderly, often in the name of profit.

Pierre Salinger goes undercover in two California jails (with pre-arranged faux arrests) to investigate conditions throughout the state penal system, as part of a major series for the San Francisco Chronicle. Salinger also did a follow-up series. 

The series examines welfare inefficiencies - and the ease with which some who are not needy can take advantage of the aid - based on six months of reporting, including Ed May's three-month undercover stint as a welfare case worker in Erie County, New York. 

In this 16-part series, New York World-Telegram and Sun reporter George Allen reports on the two months he spent working as an English teacher at Brooklyn's John Marshall Junior High School in an effort to "report on a crime-ridden school from the inside." He was credentialed a few months earlier as part of the assignment and took three education courses to prepare at Columbia Teachers' College, where he earned a substitute teacher's license with a falsified employment history.

A five-month investigation, led by Pamela Zekman, into the Michigan Avenue "abortion profiteers," and their dangerous and unsavory, unsanitary practices, including performing the procedure regularly on women who were not pregnant.

As a companion series to the paper's undercover teacher series, Leslie Linthicum, a twenty-four year-old reporter, posed as a high school student to examine the role of cliques, drugs, bureaucracy and other hidden everyday realities of a local high school."classmates."  

Reporter Woody Klein spends a month living in a New York City slum for a New York World Telegram & Sun series in 1959.

The result of three months of reporting and a week undercover in a Pennsylvania prison, this series examines the conditions, challenges, and systematic culture of the US prison system. Stories focus on California, Washington DC, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Reporter Dale Wright spent six months working on and off as a migrant worker along the Atlantic Seaboard for this series, which examines the conditions, exploitation, and legislation (and its effectiveness) of migrant laborer life. 

("The Forgotten People..A Report on Migrant Labor" by Dale Wright. Reprinted with the permission of the Estate of Dale Wright, c/o K.E. Wright-King ©1961, New York World-Telegram and Sun.)

After hearing from a source that janitors, without washing, were sometimes used to move patients from surgery rooms to their beds, a  reporter poses as a janitor at Von Solbrig Hospital. The series, a Task Force investigation, also examines the institution's encouragement of unnecessary procedures for welfare patients.

A six-part series with extensive follow-up reports and investigations into Chicago's private ambulance companies.  The firms named in this series all transported welfare and elderly patients, many profiting through the system. 

Althelia Knight visited Lorton Reformatory repeatedly to document the ease with which drugs were smuggled into the institution. The trip, about 1/2 hour, was usually undertaken in a van run by a private driver, usually operating without a permit. 

A Lawrence Otis Graham, an Ivy league-educated lawyer went undercover as a bus boy at a Greenwich country club, curious about why the club doesn't seem to have any African American members.

Washington Post reporter Neil Henry lived for two months as a bum in Baltimore then Washington D.C.. The series, titled "Down & Out," is written in the first person and consists of profiles of the people and places he encountered and accounts of the daily routines of the homeless.

The six-part series follows the journey of a teenage boy, Enrique, from Honduras, through Mexico, and across the border into the United States to reunite with his mother. 

Tribune Investigative Task Force member William Mullen uncovered evidence of widespread election fraud in the March 21 presidential primaries in Chicago while working undercover as a clerk in the Chicago Board of Election Commissioner's City Hall office.

James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and a prostitute for an undercover camera investigation. Some low-level employees of the organization provided earnest answers to the pair's questions about avoiding detection and tax evasion, among other things.  Fox News and Andrew Breitbart's Biggovernment.com (which was launched with these videos) helped to push the story beyond conservative media outlets and draw attention to the pair's findings.  As a result, and after considerable media attention, ACORN was defunded by Congress.

The work of groups such as James O'Keefe's Project Veritas and Lila Rose's LiveAction and their undercover operations.

O'Keefe secretly recorded a conversation between NPR's Ron Schiller and two of O'Keefe's partners, posing as representatives of the "Muslim Education Action Center."  The video, which was later revealed to be heavily edited, contained a number of instances of Schiller allegedly calling the Tea Party racist and Islamophobic.  

Lila Rose, with the help of James O'Keefe, has targeted Planned Parenthood for undercover video investigations multiple times, alleging that her work proves the organization's support of black genocide, tolerance of the sex slave trade, and other criminal and civil offenses. 

In 2007, Ken Silverstein posed as a representative of a firm with stakes in improving the public image of Turkmenistan, and its dictatorial regime. Under this guise, with considerable deception, he met with D.C. lobbying firms who vied for his business. The results were a story that revealed a thread of depravity in everyday D.C. business.

W.T. Stead's sensational undercover series on "white slavery," child prostitution in and exported from London, featured the work of two women posing undercover as prostitutes and the purchase, by Stead himself, of a 13-year-old girl.

Ray Sprigle, a white reporter from Pittsburgh, goes undercover as a light-skinned black man in the deep south. 

Dateline NBC ran a controversial, popular series of hidden camera stings across the country exposing (and, eventually, facilitating the arrest of) adult men who solicit sex with minors online. NBC paid an advocate group called Perverted Justice to set up "decoy" meetings with men who initiated sexual conversations with people posing as underage girls and boys. The men would show up at a house filled with NBC cameras, host Chris Hansen, and, as the series progressed, decoy actresses and police waiting outside.