Friday 8 April 2016

IS STING OPERATION -An eye opener really justifiable?

  Sting operation- the boiling topic nowadays, is what in reality? It is a part of what could be called “new age journalism”, with many ethical issues involved. In television it is described as a form of journalism, and in the print media it is generally referred to as an ‘expose’. Legally, Sting Operation is a design carried with help of an editor, a journalist and a videographer. The smartphone is a good alternative to the video-cam, in which the journalist can claim the story to be sole. But again, the videographer as “second” person doing the story, can give the story a second “back-up” as it needs to prove its authenticity. Rahul Manas, a concerned citizen says, “ sting operations provide us with evidence that can prove a person or an institution guilty in court”. He also adds, “since our system works on evidences, it can provide the same, as in most cases the suspect is never punished”.

The term Sting was first popularized by the Hollywood movie The Sting(1973). In India it was Tahelka who started the practice of sting operations and immediately gained popularity as it was an eye opener for the general public. One of its most important and eye catching operation was on Shakti Kapoor, in which he was seen asking sexual favours from a wannabe star when approaching Kapoor for films.
In West Bengal, a 24 minute video of a sting operation was released by a news portal “Narada” on Monday 14th March, 2016, purportedly showing 11 senior Trinamool Congress(TMC) leaders and a senior police officer, promising favours and accepting wads of currency notes from representatives of a fictious firm. This video was an eye opener for most of the common mass that how their elected government is working. The video drew huge political uproar to which West Bengal CPI (M) Secretary Surya Kanta Mishra commented “ it is matter of shame that this government is still continuing”. But then some questions remain unanswered, the video had to be released when the elections are so near? Is the sting operation done really for the betterment of the community or is it politically motivated?

 It is obvious that authentic sting operations provide us valuable information   but for media in general, sting operation could be manufactured to raise the TRPs of news channel with brought up sensational stories along with eye catching visuals. As a citizen of this country and representative of the common public i strongly feel that sting operations must be carried out in future as we remain unaware of many incidents unfolding inside privately. However, in the present scenario where political corruption is at its peak, it is impossible to discover whether the sting operation is a politically motivated one or is for the real betterment of the community!

Though sting operations serves as an eye opener, but some serious debatable questions surrounds its near future, How ethical is it for a journalist to conduct a sting operation on a person who is unaware off? Does not such sting operation violate the subjects right to privacy? How authentic is the piece of news reported from sting operation? Why should the media care about the private affairs of private people.

                                                                                                                  Ramyani Mukherjee
 (PG MEDIA 2015-2017)


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