Home > Uncategorized > WikiLeaks – About time…

WikiLeaks – About time…

The media readily propels Assange onto the front page

The media readily propels Assange onto the front page

UPDATE:  Of course, on the day I finally release my grievances with the media’s treatment of WikiLeaks, suddenly something does happen to change the way reporting is done!!!

But the original post still just about stands up.

As a) this is a media blog and b) one of the most significant moments in 21st century journalism has gone, so far, unmentioned here, perhaps it is about time I said the word(s) “WikiLeaks”.

I have very little to add to the colossal bandwagon of trending and blogging, but given the choice, I would seek to put some reins on it.

Some insightful journalism has arisen from the saga, but I find it troubling that a significant amount of comment has been concerned with the impact on journalism, or on WikiLeaks’ ethical role in the media.  This is a media blog, so I hope I am just about able to evade my own tarred brush.

Mainstream media’s primary dilemma seems to have been whipped up entirely by itself.  There should be very little debate.  The simple facts are:

1. The world is now a more interconnected, information rich and openly accessible place – traditional media must sink or swim to keep up.

2. A convicted computer hacker with designs on international notoriety has created a rogue resource, which by necessarily covert means, provides vast amounts of sensitive and confidential data via the internet (one could, if they wished, debate the extent to which governments should be more open).

3. We as journalists are bound by duty to report on the documents (not talk about whether we should, or once we have, what the significance is for us).

At no stage did the wider public interest demand that journalists assimilate themselves morally to WikiLeaks, nor for that matter, invite Julian Asange into their midst.  (But it was of course inevitable that the human interest story would begin to override the more complicated international one.)

The real debate to be had is the impact WikiLeaks will have on political transparency, here’s a start… WikiLeaks is just another tool with which journalists can hold governments accountable, afterall WikiLeaks without the media is merely a sprawl of data and hyperlinks.  It only heralds the end of investigative journalism if journalists decide it does.

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