The Society of Professional Journalists advises that reporters should only use undercover methods when absolutely necessary to get information that’s vital to the public. But even if a reporter follows those guidelines, where do they stand in the eyes of the law? Are they still vulnerable to civil suits and criminal charges? On this bonus episode, Jane Kirtley, the head of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota, talks about some of the legal implications of going undercover in the U.S.

 

RESOURCES

Looking for links to the stories and resources we discussed on this week’s podcast? We’ve collected them for you.

  • Listen to “A Workforce at Risk,” the story of the undercover investigation that inspired this week’s bonus episode. The Toronto Star’s Sara Mojtehedzadeh went undercover in an industrial bakery after a temporary worker died there.
  • Want to learn more about undercover reporting? Listen to our podcast episode “Profiting from Prisoners” featuring Shane Bauer.

 

MUSIC

Soothe (Blue Dot Sessions) / CC BY-NC 4.0

Trickledown (Podington Bear) / CC BY-NC 3.0

 

CREDITS

Erin McKinstry reported this story. IRE Editorial Director Sarah Hutchins edits the podcast. We are recorded in the studios of KBIA at the University of Missouri.