Dangerous liaisons

undercover journalism, standpoint theory and social revelation

Bunty Avieson*, Willa McDonald

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Standpoint Theory suggests that those who can bring the most insight to the workings of society are those on its edges and its margins. People living in circumstances of disempowerment are better placed because of their standpoint to perceive what is really occurring across the social and cultural domain; it is their standpoint, which is the most revealing. When a journalist works undercover, they are attempting to better understand, as far as is possible for an outsider, the standpoint of the people whose stories are being told. This article examines the methods of three undercover print journalists through the lens of standpoint theory, arguing that it is an ethical approach to uncover the lived realities of the disadvantaged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-150
Number of pages14
JournalMedia International Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017



  • ethics
  • standpoint
  • undercover
  • Vagabond
  • Walraff
  • Wynhausen

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