Revolutionary Measures

Afghan Wikileaks – why it needs old media

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On a first look, the publication of 90,000 US military records on Wikileaks shows the power of citizen journalism and social media. It is extremely unlikely that any mainstream news organisation would have been able to get legal clearance to publish the leaked Afghan War records – you can see the lawyers going apoplectic at the very thought of it.

But how did Wikileaks get the crucial second source and endorsement for the documents? Not through its own resources or credibility but by sharing them with the New York Times, The Guardian and Der Spiegel. Only when they had cross-checked the information (and the media organisations had their exclusives) were they released.

It shows the essentially symbiotic relationship between ‘old’ media and new channels. Both sides need each other if they are to break big stories – and I can’t see this changing in the near future.

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July 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I think Wikileaks has taken everyone by surprise (it’s only three years old). The problem they have got is funding. Unsurpisingly there are no corporates looking to help out. If ever a start-up needed an innovative crowd-sourcing-type funding model it’s this one…

    Comment by Niall O'Malley | July 28, 2010 | Reply

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