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Title: Techniques of Investigative Reporting: Public's Right to know and Individual's Right to Privacy
Authors: Mustapha-Koiki, Adepate Rahmat
Ayedun-Aluma, Victor
Keywords: Evasive Techniques
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Humanities and Social Sciences Review
Series/Report no.: Vol. 2;No. 2; Pp 543-552
Abstract: This is a philosophical investigation on methods of obtaining information employed by journalists that define the line and reflect the tension between the public’s right to know the truth and an individual’s claim to anonymity and privacy. The study examines the ethics (relating to morals or the science of ethics or professional science of conduct) of the investigative methods employed by journalists. The study was guided by two research questions and assumptions: To what extent does the use of evasive techniques morally right in investigative reporting? and does the use of evasive techniques encroach upon individual’s privacy? The methodology employed is survey where practising journalists, journalism teachers and students journalists were required to answer questions relating to how they make ethical decisions especially in cases where news worthiness and individual safety conflicts. The answers are contrasted against a set parameter designed by the researcher on how investigative journalism should be practised making special references to the classical theories of the study of ethics. The findings revealed that investigative reporting techniques could only be employed when it is highly expedient, especially when the life of the journalist is at risk or in the extreme case when the news subject is not forthcoming with information. The findings did not totally uphold the first assumption that the use of evasive techniques is morally right for investigative journalists. Moreover, the second research assumption concluded that sometimes, not all the time, investigative reporting techniques encroach on individual’s privacy. However, it was clearly established that public interest is a paramount factor in investigative reporting techniques. The paper concluded that in upholding ethical standard in the practice of investigative reporting, journalists have been encouraged to do unto others as they will want others to do unto them to balance all sides to a story.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1526
ISSN: 2165-6258
Appears in Collections:Mass Communication

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