Investigative journalism is a major beacon at the heart of the watchdog role of the media. Television cameras often present viewers with compelling evidence of wrongdoing. But does that permit journalists to abuse their privileged position as they go about their business?
There's probably no way of setting ethical rules cast in stone because different circumstances dictate dissimilar approaches and various justifications can be advanced for any editorial decision.
It however comes dangerously close to crossing the professionalism line, when journalists assign themselves certain roles beyond their calling.
A case in point is when the reporters in the latest KTN Inside Story series, almost appear to wield arresting powers, usually associated with law enforcement agencies, as they seek to give their expose a dramatic twist.
Yes. The subjects might very well be illegal immigrants being smuggled into Kenya, but at what point does a journalist depart from pursuing the news elements, to unilaterally attempting to make a citizen's arrest?
In my estimation, which definitely stands to be corrected, it is unusual and a bit preposterous for a reporter to start ordering around the news subject, as the camera is rolling and then include the footage as part of the story.
It even gets more absurd, when the journalists finally just watch as the 'aliens' walk away, perhaps after realising that without police or immigration officers around, it is not in their place to detain them.
And remarkably, the other parts of this captivating series, did include law enforcement agents making such arrests. Is it a case of getting carried away by the thrills of the job? You decide.