CNN’s policy guidelines on “sting” operations are clear. The information or evidence to be gathered by a hidden camera should significantly contribute to a story that is of substantial value to society or of vital public interest. The expectation of illegal behaviour or wrongdoing should be strong. Before using a hidden camera a journalist must first try and exhaust alternatives for obtaining the interview or information. And, all hidden camera shoots must have the prior approval of the senior news management and, if required, the permission of the federal authorities.
But Rajdeep Sardesai received an SMS a few weeks ago which read, “Dear sir, I am from Patna. I have more than 40 stings with me. Meet me once, you will not be disappointed. Trust me, together we will create a tehelka!”
How did the CNN-IBN editor-in-chief respond?: Sting in the tale