From tales of tainted meat to racism to mistreatment of wounded soldiers, some of the stories that have rankled the establishment and raised public consciousness and concerns haven’t come from straight news, on-the-record reporting. They’ve come from journalists who’ve gone undercover. Or as a new NYU database of undercover reporting dubs it, reporters who’ve engaged in “deception for journalism’s sake.”
The database at undercoverreporting.org launched this week and chronicles undercover journalism from the 1800s to present day, with stories grouped by series and topic. The database — a collaboration between NYU journalism professor Brooke Kroeger and the university’s libraries — lets users search by the writer, the publication, the topic or the type of method employed in the undercover work. Each entry includes not only references and when available links to the source material, but also a bit of the history on the impact of the work.