Covering the Wikileaks

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Data, Foreign Policy, Journalism | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

The latest at Foreign Exchange on the way news organizations are handling the Wikileaks:

as we come to see Wikileaks as just a source, news organizations are having to decide whether to cover them at all, and–as we often do with delicate subject matter–how to balance the scoop against the risk to those implicated. I have very minimal sympathy with Wikileaks’ overall agenda, which seems increasingly to be about embarrassing the US government for the sake of it rather than to advance any particular cause, but I do think that news organizations have an obligation to cover these leaks in some fashion once they’ve occurred. They can pick and choose what to include on the basis of what’s really significant, and they can avoid reprinting the actual documents if they see a risk to someone’s life, but they can’t just choose to ignore the whole development. ¬†That’s why I think it’s deplorable that two major news organizations–the Wall Street Journal and CNN–chose to turn down access to the documents altogether, because, in essence, they were afraid of being compromised. National security reporting¬†is inevitably compromised and risky, and to run from that challenge is unjournalistic, and wrong.

Go read the whole thing.


Some Thoughts on the Wikileaks

Posted: August 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Data, Foreign Policy, Journalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

When the massive data dump that was the Wikileaks Afghan War Logs showed up on my screen three weeks ago, I did what–apparently–no one else had yet done: read the whole thing. At the time, this seemed like Journalism 101. But by the time I finished [at the end of the week], I was more bored and overwhelmed than stimulated or enlightened. Because, as others had concluded by then, there really isn’t that much that’s earth-shattering in the logs. And I’ve been pondering what to say ever since . Read the rest of this entry »