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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."
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.
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.
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
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.