Peter Scheer (pictured), executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition, warns in this commentary that journalists should go slow in condemning Hewlett Packard for using “pretexting” (pretending to be someone you’re not in an investigation) in its investigation of boardroom leaks. “While pretexting has all the hallmarks of fraudulent misrepresentation, let us remember that it is also a valuable technique of investigative reporting,” Scheer writes. “Examples include: posing as a home-buyer to test whether real estate brokers and mortgage lenders disfavor racial minorities; pretending to be a prospective law client to test whether lawyers coach clients to fabricate claims; or engaging in a ‘sting operation’ to identify corrupt cops, doctors who prescribe unnecessary treatment, or auto repair shops that ‘fix’ cars that aren’t broken.”

SF Press Club News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>