Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception (Medill Visions Of The American Press)
by Brooke Kroeger (Author), Pete Hamill (Foreword)
In her provocative book, Brooke Kroeger argues for a reconsideration of the place of oft-maligned journalistic practices. While it may seem paradoxical, much of the valuable journalism in the past century and a half has emerged from undercover investigations that employed subterfuge or deception to expose wrong. Kroeger asserts that undercover work is not a separate world, but rather it embodies a central discipline of good reporting—the ability to extract significant information or to create indelible, real-time descriptions of hard-to-penetrate institutions or social situations that deserve the public’s attention. Together with a companion website that gathers some of the best investigative work of the past century, Undercover Reporting serves as a rallying call for an endangered aspect of the journalistic endeavor.
About the Author
Brooke Kroeger is a journalist and professor of journalism at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is the also author of Passing: When People Can’t Be Who They Are (2003); Fannie: The Talent for Success of Writer Fannie Hurst (1999); and Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist (1994). She also publishes Deception for Journalism’s Sake: A Database as part of her Undercover Reporting research.
- Series: Medill Visions Of The American Press
- Paperback: 518 pages
- Publisher: Northwestern University Press; 1 edition (August 31, 2012)
A “comprehensive history and exercise in soul-searching” . . . “Undercover Reporting intends to provoke its readers, and it did me.” – Jack Shafer, Columbia Journalism Review [cjr.org/review/the_lying_game.php?page=all]
“Brooke Kroeger’s new book brings good news. She puts in a good word for a discredited and abandoned form of investigative reporting closely identified with Chicago, and goes on to say that it’s actually not that discredited or abandoned.
“Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception is a clear-eyed look at sneakiness. . . . ” Michael Miner, Chicago Reader
From the Author
Don’t miss the book’s companion database of undercover reporting going back to the mid-1800s at undercoverreporting.org. In addition to citations and summaries, it has links to the actual pieces.
Reporter Cleans Up
Most memorable for me was reporter William Gaines posing as a hospital orderly. Repeatedly, doctors ordered him to drop the mop and wheel post-op patients from the supposedly immaculate surgery back to their rooms. The day after the Chicago Tribune displayed Gaines inside details, patients fled the hospital which was closed forever. And Gaines won his first Pulitzer. Author Brooke Kroeger takes you inside with reporters on the inside where reality defies the most sophisticated corporate spin merchants. What should be a daily City Desk assignment has almost vanished along with leaner newspaper staffs and lower budgets. Perhaps the local television stations could cut back on the weather reports and invest in this most controversial form of American journalism.