Tuesday 12 April 2016

Sting Operation : A piece of Sensational news

Sting Operation is the most critical but effective part of the media world. A sting operation is a complicated confidence game planned and executed with great care. The word “sting” derives its origin from American usage to mean a police undercover operation designed to ensnare criminals. The word “sting” is a synonym for the expression “set a trap to catch a crook”. In more refined terms, it can be called Investigative Journalism or Undercover Journalism. Sting operation is an information-gathering exercise; it looks for facts that are not easy to obtain by simple requests and searches or those that are actively being concealed, suppressed or distorted.

There are many cases of some important sting operation not only in India but also all over the world. Let us look at some of them-

1. Cobra Post sting operation:

The online magazine Cobra Post, over a period of several months, conducted a sting operation on three big banks – HDFC, ICICI and Axis alleging how these banks are involved in channeling huge amounts of black money into the banking system as laundered white money. Employees of these banks were caught on camera offering to convert black money into white money.
2. Tehelka Operation West End:
One of the most famous sting operations in the history of government of India is the “operation West End” carried out by Tehelka magazine in 2001. The operation was carried out to expose the deep rooted corruption in India’s Defence ministry. Many arms dealers and defense ministry officials were caught on tape accepting bribes. The expose led to the resignation of Defence minister

3. Star TV exposes of Manu Sharma in Jessica Lal murder case:

Sting operation by Tehelka magazine first and later by Star TV played a significant role in conviction of Manu Sharma in model Jessica Lal’s murder case. After Manu Sharma was set free when witnesses turned hostile, the agencies carried out a sting operation in 2006 to expose how witnesses were persuaded to speak in favor of Manu Sharma. The tapes played vital role in getting the case reopened, which finally led to Manu’s conviction.
4. Watergate Scandal (USA):
Watergate scandal that made Richard Nixon the first American president to resign was a result of a sting operation by two budding reporters of Washington Posts. The scandal that changed the political history of US was based on the burglary in the office of Democratic Party in Watergate complex. The sting operation, carried out by two reporters of Washington Post revealed that American President was a part of break-in at his opponents office.  Later when the scandal broke out, the video tapes that had the crucial discussion of President Nixon with his close officials revealed his involvement in burglary and paying the team a hush money to be quiet.
5.  Sar-e-Aam (Pakistan):
The most watched crime show of Pakistan Sar-e-Aam carried out a sting operation to expose the corruption in Pakistan Railway. This whistle-blowing program of ARY News hosted by Iqrarul Hasan had conducted a sting operation wherein railways’ officials took bribe and allowed smuggling of weapons via train from Lahore to Karachi.   The video was filmed to unveil the disoriented security arrangements in Pakistan Railway s but it seems like that this episode of Sar-e-Aam has blown the lid of a big corruption scam in the respective department as the repercussions of the sting operations are critical.

According to me sting operation is the right process of exposing a criminal in the public eye. This process has now got its popularity high in the media world. For the proper development of society this sensational investigation process is much required. Anyone can temper this process on his or her demand so the media and government should look after this in strict hand. Also they have to make sure that the evidences are authentic before it is broadcast. Thus, Sting Operations are an important part of the media world.

Shilpa Mandal
( PG MEDIA 2015-2017)

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