"Pulitzers: Was Mirage a Deception?" - Columbia Journalism Review

Byline: Steve Robinson; 1979-07-01; Columbia Journalism Review; pages pp14-15

Report: Undercover Journalism Debated

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"James Reston helped to define the issue when he reportedly drew a distinction between 'pretense' and 'deception' at the [Pulitzer] board meeting. Pretense, in this scheme is a passive act: the reporter allows someone to draw the wrong conclusion about who he is or what he knows. Deception, however, is active; the reporter intends to mislead. 'It's biblical, man,' says [Ben] Bradlee of the Post. 'How can newspapers fight for honesy and integrity when they themslevse are less than honest in getting a story? Would you want a cop to pose as a newspaperman?' Other board members, however, admit that they have allowed reporters to conceal their identities in the past, and most reserve the right to do so in the future."

Description:Discussion of the brouhaha at the 1979 Pulitzer Prize deliberations over the methods used in the Chicago Sun-Times' Mirage sting.

Rights: Copyrighted, used with permission.

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Article in Columbia's Journalism Review titled, "Pulitzers: Was Mirage a Deception?" Written by Steve Robinson in 1979.