The Ends and The Means

Friday, November 09, 2007


New Delhi based magazine Tehelka recently published an investigative piece which sheds light on one of the most violent times in Indian history, the 2002 Gujarat riots. But Tehelka used ethically questionable tactics to get their scoop. Do the ends of this story justify the means? We asked Tehelka's investigations editor, Harinder Baweja.

Comments [2]

Ophelia Benson from Seattle

It does seem very odd to focus this story on the ethics of the journalism, given what it was that the journalism uncovered - the fact that the Gujarat massacres were not spontaneous but planned in advance. But that aside, thanks for covering an important subject that gets little attention in US media.

Nov. 12 2007 11:23 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

What is most frightening about this story is that nothing, other than action to suppress the press, results from the Tehelka report.

The question about the ethics of such reporting seems simplistically naive in view of the scores of hidden camera reports and acknowledged deceptions by American reporters such as those from Sixty Minutes we all have seen, but the question of ends (essentially nothing good, other than possibly local media ratings) justifying means remains.

Editor Baweja cautions her staff not to use these tactics for trivial stories, but what is a story such as this that elicits no public outrage but trivial. That is the real story.

Her viewing public must endorse the brutality she has brought to light and, for them, she has simply afforded titillation. She is not telling them anything that they don't already know.

It is like telling someone from Chicago that her Mayor is named Daley.

Nov. 12 2007 03:43 AM

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