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Should a Journalist Turn in His Pedophile Sources?

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posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 07:36 AM
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I think they did right by those children and families who were traumatized. Let's see what all of you think.


To say that pedophilia is a hot-button issue is an understatement. But in France, a new dose of controversy was added this week when a television exposé on cyber-predators ignited a debate over journalists' ethics in the era of hidden-camera reportage. While conducting research for a program called Pedophiles: The Predators, the most recent installment of the France 2 network's hidden-camera investigative series, Les Infiltrés, reporter Laurent Richard communicated with multiple alleged pedophiles online and in person — and then turned them in to the police. But in betraying his sources — repugnant as they were — did Richard and his producers betray their profession?
(Read about Germany's pedophile priest scandal.)

That's the question being debated across the airwaves, news pages and web forums in France since 2.2 million viewers tuned in on April 6 to watch the program. To conduct his reporting, Richard posed online as both a 12-year-old girl and a pedophile to gain access to networks of child pornography collectors. He then traveled to Montreal to meet a convicted pedophile and secretly filmed the man as he described his plans to target more children.

From the beginning, Richard and his producer, the press agency CAPA, decided they wouldn't protect their sources following their investigation. "We knew that if we were witnesses of sexual attacks on minors we would say so," Richard told the daily Libération newspaper. "We are not going to hide behind our press cards." Their tips led to more than 20 arrests in France and Canada, including a 64-year-old suburban Paris municipal counselor who will face child corruption charges in June for allegedly making sexual advances to the undercover journalist in a chat room. For CAPA president Hervé Chabalier, the choice was clear: "We are journalists, but above all we are citizens. It's my profound conviction we had to do it."


Read the rest of the story here.

So, have they damaged their journalistic integrity? Or have they done what any sane person would have done? I certainly would not have kept them safe, regardless of what information they gave me.

There are 20 less pedophiles, or "alleged" pedophiles roaming the streets right now because of the work these guys did.

Thoughts?

~Keeper




posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 07:56 AM
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I think they did the right thing.

There should be no protection for people who target children for sex.

Good on them. I personally would not have been able to live with myself should I have heard all about the acts these guys perpetrated and intended to perpetrate and not have turned them in.




posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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Nice thread, S&F.


Good on them for handing over these pedophiles and suspected pedophiles to the authorities.

"A 64-year-old suburban Paris municipal counselor who will face child corruption charges in June for allegedly making sexual advances to the undercover journalist in a chat room." Even if you do something like this, your basically just as bad as the people who are actually committing the crimes because your encouraging it.

Parent's need to remind their children of the old saying, "never accept gifts from strangers", and to keep them aware of the dangers of chat rooms on the internet. Otherwise we are going to need more people like the reporters who will do undercover work to prevent pedophiles from harming children.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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This is an excellent question. In this particular case, I totally agree with what the reporters did. They were undercover, and the pedophiles had no idea they were being recorded. Therefore, I'd view it the same as any citizen witnessing these criminals in action, and it's their duty to turn them in.

However, the question becomes more difficult if the pedophiles had agreed to give an anonymous interview. I'm generally all for reporters being able to keep their sources confidential, but ethically speaking, where do you draw the line? I'm not completely sure of that answer right now.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:01 AM
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Certain subject matter in my mind has a certain priority and pedophilia is at the top. I just don't feel that journalistic protocols are applicable when dealing with those that defile the young and innocent. In such special cases, keeping them secret would not be the moral thing to do or the right thing to ignore.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Originally posted by chillpill
I think they did the right thing.

There should be no protection for people who target children for sex.

Good on them. I personally would not have been able to live with myself should I have heard all about the acts these guys perpetrated and intended to perpetrate and not have turned them in.



I agree, the guilt would have been just ridiculous.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:02 AM
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Well, have fun with that "20 less pedophiles on the street" thing.

But having betrayed his sources, potential criminals will be a LOT more reluctant in opening up to the press.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:06 AM
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Originally posted by LostNemesis
Well, have fun with that "20 less pedophiles on the street" thing.

But having betrayed his sources, potential criminals will be a LOT more reluctant in opening up to the press.


This is an isolated incident however. There are always sick basterds wanting to tell their story to somebody.

Let's let reality in here for a minute. If you are a criminal and talk to the press, your an idiot and deserve to be in jail.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


Even if this guy was "undercover", I believe that such publicity as this case, helps criminals learn better to avoid getting caught.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:11 AM
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reply to post by LostNemesis
 


Just reading the OP again - I am not sure the criminals were aware they were being filmed. It makes mention of "hidden cameras".

Is there more information on whether this was truly an undercover operation, or one where the paedophiles believed they were engaging in an anonymous interview?

But I really don't think that changes my mind on the subject.

As to criminals - even criminals think Paedos are the scum of the earth. They will get their just desserts in prison and their reward in hell (if you believe in hell!)



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:12 AM
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reply to post by LostNemesis
 


You make a good point. I certainly see where your logic is coming from. I'm just impressed that these journalists decided to put the children before their jobs.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:17 AM
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In psychology its important not to tell personally identifying information and keeping everything they tell you discrete, as a code. The only time you are allowed to tell is if you have reeason to believe they are going to commit a crime in the future, or are danger to themself.

Yes, even if they killed someone in the past, but seem repentent and not planning to do it again, you are obligated not to tell.

I think since the people were actively engage in child pornography and as it said, 'planning to target more children' there was nothing wrong with it, in fact everything right with it. If it turned out these people went on to victimise some poor child after, people would be disgusted the reporter did not tell sooner.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 09:35 AM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


whatever it takes to protect the children. pedophilia is the worst crime imaginable, we need more stricter protocol for the criminals also.

shouldn't this be in a different place other than P&M? i dunno just wondering



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by tektek2012
reply to post by tothetenthpower
 


whatever it takes to protect the children. pedophilia is the worst crime imaginable, we need more stricter protocol for the criminals also.

shouldn't this be in a different place other than P&M? i dunno just wondering


Yeah I thought so too, however this is more of a question or morals and ethics and the philosophy behind honest journalism.

~Keeper



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 10:22 AM
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I have no problem with what the journalists did, but, I do have a problem with a person being arrested for pedophila when there was no child involved. No child = no crime in my book.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 10:28 AM
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Originally posted by Ridhya
The only time you are allowed to tell is if you have reeason to believe they are going to commit a crime in the future, or are danger to themself.

Yes, even if they killed someone in the past, but seem repentent and not planning to do it again, you are obligated not to tell.

I think since the people were actively engage in child pornography and as it said, 'planning to target more children' there was nothing wrong with it, in fact everything right with it. If it turned out these people went on to victimise some poor child after, people would be disgusted the reporter did not tell sooner.


Star for Ridhyal.

This is exactly the distinction that should be made when determining whether to tell or not. And, is the exact reason why the catholic church is in the trouble they are in right now.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


I agree with that.

Although I feel better when the guy who wants to touch kids is in a 8x8 cell.

Those people, as far as I am concerned, are below any sort of moral or ethical treatment. It goes against everything I would say and believe in for any other kind of person or crime.

It's just the way I feel.

~Keeper



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