Reporters investigate paedophiles, called “stool pigeons”

“A French documentary sparked a media ethics controversy on Tuesday after journalists handed over the names of 22 suspected paedophiles to police in Canada and France,” reported Agence France-Presse.  “Reporters from the Capa agency used the Internet to get in touch with people in France and Canada who allegedly professed an interest in child pornography or having sex with children …  they handed over their names to French and Canadian police.”

AFP quoted a headline from one “left-leaning” French publication outraged at how the reporters tricked the subjects and that they called police: “Journalists or Stool Pigeons?”

The case raises the thorny question about when and how journalists should share information with police.