Many serious practitioners of ethical journalism do not approve of sting operations to secure information. Sting journalism operates in the grey areas, and many a time uses methods which are not ethical. This goes against the very basis of ethical journalism. It is not always to check the authenticity of the information provided by sting operation done in the actual or perceived public interest. However, sting operations have provided enough masala for journalists.
Bhupen Patel, a journalist with two decades of experience, has written a book titled The Anatomy of a Sting. He has conducted many undercover operations over the course of his career. He has exposed all sorts of rackets, from mental asylums admitting patients without proper medical examinations to an illegal network of agents that arranges ‘temporary’ wives for Arab men looking to have a fling.
This book recounts in detail some of his most dramatic and hard-hitting operations. It takes us through the entire process of a sting and reveals the hard work it takes to not just uncover a story that requires further discreet investigation but also gather enough evidence to bring it to the notice of the public and the authorities concerned. Each account will offer a glimpse into the life of an investigative journalist and keep you on the edge of your seat.
Patel has worked in Mid-Day, Mumbai Mirror and NDTV. He now heads the crime-reporting team at Mid-Day.