"Undercover Student" - Leslie Linthicum - Albuquerque Tribune

Reportage

Description

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."  

Media History

The reporting was intended for these media types: Newspaper, Television

Effects and Outcomes

Public reaction to the report was "swift and vehement," the reporter later recalled in an ethics report to the Society of Professional Journalists. Students, teachers, parents and school administrators reacted negatively -- less to the substance of the reporting than to the intrusion, which left them feeling violated and tricked. There also was criticism of conclusions she drew from isolated incidents. As the principal quipped later, "You can almost anytime catch someone picking their nose if you look at them long enough." The major issues appear to have been the questionable purpose of the project and the harm done to people who were identifiable and thus unfairly subjected to ridicule.

Articles, Books, Video/Film