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A Sting Operation is an operation designed to catch a person committing a crime by means of deception. A complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care. Sting Operation is an information-gathering exercise; it looks for facts that are not easy to obtain by simple requests and searches, or those that are actively being concealed, suppressed or distorted.

Topic: Case Study

7. A Sting Operation is an operation designed to catch a person committing a crime by means of deception. A complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care. Sting Operation is an information-gathering exercise; it looks for facts that are not easy to obtain by simple requests and searches, or those that are actively being concealed, suppressed or distorted.

An informed citizenry the bedrock of a democracy, holding the government accountable through voting and participation requires investigative journalism which cannot sustain itself on asymmetric dissemination of information. In many cases, the subjects of the reporting wish the matters under scrutiny to remain undisclosed.

Among the most popular programmes in India, are those reporting on corruption and misdeeds of politicians and government officials. ‘Candid camera,’ reports many true stories of the day the bribe that the police inspector extracts from the victim of a crime before agreeing to investigate, the ‘fee’ that the government officer charges for his giving the order to make an electric connection, and the ‘contribution’ that a company pays a member of Parliament before bringing up a legislative concern in the Lok Sabha. Because of all these things do we really require Sting Operations? At the same time, where such investigative work involves the use of covert methods, it raises issues that tend to further blur the line between law and ethics.

    1. Is deception legitimate when the aim is to tell the truth? Analyse the ethicality of sting operations.
    2. Can television reporters use hidden cameras to get a story? Can journalists use false identities to gain access to information?
    3. To what extent can the media go and to what extent should a person be informed?

(250 words)

Difficulty level: Moderate

Why the question:

The question is part of the static syllabus of General studies paper – 4 and part of ‘Case Study Fridays’ in Mission-2023 Secure.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Begin by giving context.

Body:

  1. Debate about the ethicality of sting operations – where it is considered and where it is not.
  2. Write about using hidden cameras and false identities to procure legitimate information. Bring in the aspect of ethics of journalism.
  3. Write about what can be considered ethical sting operations and what are certain boundaries that must not be crossed by journalists.

Conclusion:

Conclude by giving a balanced opinion on sting operations.