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Researching & Reporting Crime?

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Over the last few years there have been a number of broad ranging reporting and research studies along with journalist interviews which seem to show crimes being committed.

Most of these shows have been featured around the so called War on Drugs…

They even apparently interview drug users who are doing drugs live on camera.

This brings up a unique situation where the journalist appears to be enabling a drug user to continue to use drugs.

Since it is common knowledge that most people that choose to do drugs often find it difficult to stop using drugs it is also fairly common and more likely that many of these people who do these drugs often find that getting more drugs to do is a difficult thing.

So it only invites the question is it ethical for a reporter to pay a drug user who once paid will then proceed to buy drugs.

The reporter must know this is going to happen.

The real question here is not only an ethical dilemma but also a legal dilemma. Now obviously there have been some cases where the reporter was charged with a crime but later was either acquitted or the charges are then dropped.

This is a fine line and one that really should be investigated.

Many of these people tend to be victims of drug abuse or even other abuses. Reporting this for millions of people to view on live TV for entertainment… ???

Is that right? Is it legal?

It might be hard to answer those things but one thing seem clear these reporters are placing themselves in very dangerous situations where organized criminals often actively operating at the time of the videos being taped, would tend to make you wonder what the reporter did to get the cooperation of the (alleged) criminal.

You could say that it was a reenactment, but clearly that is not the case with these sub prime TV shows.

It appears very real and you can sometimes see how nervous the reporter actually is.

The thing is when it comes to the serious nature of both recreational drug use and systemic drug use where the person is totally addicted to the use of those drugs how far is too far?

Additionally while filming these shows they are filming a crime!

They pay the person to get the drugs that they are going to film them to use live for the entertainment of people who watch this stuff on TV!

That would seem to be wrong and really it is wrong.

This opens up a new avenue of ethics for reporting for both the internet and for more traditional journalist sources like newspapers and broadcast video.

It has been said that the internet publication is not really a protected right under the constitution as defined by freedom of the press.

But is that still the truth now that 87 percent of information is published digitally and many are well respected with a lot of republication’s.

So we are going to do a series of articles about journalists and the things that they are doing that are protected legally and those things that they might be doing that are not well protected either because that journalist is not part of the establishment media.

What types of reporting are ethical?

In this article it appears that there are some in law enforcement agencies that are pursuing many types of what is commonly called a sting operation.

Often these sting operations are setup to deceive a person that might not ordinarily engage in the crime that the law enforcement official would like to arrest the subject of a sting operation.

Now certainly it goes without saying that when it comes to someone that seeks to interact with underage minor children those people should be arrested.

But this also invites another question when does a sting become something that becomes a problem where the law enforcement official is turning a normally law abiding citizen into a criminal?

Is that something that could be a problem?

Craigslist is a website that for many has become synonymous with murder, crime, adult services and just about anything else that you could possibly dream up and it is really bad in some places.

But again is it ok for a law enforcement official to reply to a seemingly borderline craigslist post and then lure that person into a complex setup where the end result is often worse than what it started out to be?

Obviously that is something that a fair few people are looking at as far as research and as far as what is ethical for reporting and for law enforcement.

We can easily understand that anyone that appears to be willing to do things that would put many people in danger would be someone that needs some help and that might involve being arrested.

But where does it end?

In a national report that was recently published regarding what is becoming more and more common in law enforcement is the reverse sting operation where someone poses as a facilitator or a provider and they are actually a police officer who then proceeds to capture information about the subject in an effort to demonstrate that that person is about to commit a crime or is willing to engage in criminal activity that is often just a misdemeanor.

Is it ok?

When the agent has to push the subject over and over again in order to elicit some form of evidence of wrongdoing just to get an arrest and a conviction turning what might be an ordinary person into a criminal…

Yes, they call this entrapment!

But entrapment is difficult to prove if you happen to be the one that has been trapped!

What we seek to find out here is a simple question.

At what point is it wrong for law enforcement to insert themselves into an online post?

So we have reporters that appear to be providing money and the ability to do drugs on camera for entertainment and we have law enforcement officials that are engaging in questionable actions that appear to be a form of entrapment.

All of this in the name of a war on drugs that no one can win!

This so called war on drugs has been going on for many years possibly over 70 years of ongoing forms of prohibition starting with alchol and ending with the sexual behavior of ordinary citizens.

Is it ok to engage in adult behavior that other people might find offensive and disgusting? Certainly there are many nations where such behavior is punished by death.

But more and more in this nation behavior is becoming a subjective tool in which to arrest and convict anyone for doing anything that someone else finds offensive.

That is the extreme end of this situation and it is something that has long been an issue.

Over the next few weeks we are going to take a cold hard look into organized law enforcement activities which deprive individuals of their liberty, money, status and just about everything else all because a citizen “Thinks” about doing something with an adult that another person find offensive.

Obviously some of these things are offensive!

But does that make it something that the police should be pursuing with so much real criminal activity going on and not to mention a lot of it going on as television entertainment.

Literally there are people that are committing mass crimes by supplying hundreds of thousands of people with drugs in this nation and they put it on TV?

More to come…