ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Media Sting

The media needs a self-regulatory and enforceable code of conduct to prevent abuse in reporting.

In 1981, The Indian Express meticulously planned and ran an expose of women being sold into sex work when its reporter “bought” a woman in the Dholpur market in Madhya Pradesh. Dismissed as a circulation gimmick by its rivals, the paper’s series nonetheless caught the reading public’s attention. It was only in 2000 that the use of hidden cameras by Tehelka to expose corruption in defence deals made “sting operations” a talking point.

Since the electronic media lends itself well to sting operations, it has begun using this form of investigation quite widely. While some sting operations have succeeded in shaking up corrupt administrations, others have ended up eroding the credibility of the media. Now, following the courts’ intervention, “sting” operations have come under the scrutiny of both the judiciary and the executive.

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