Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The journalist as outlaw

Jeff Sparrow (on The Drum) has an interesting take on today's wikileaks War Logs story. He has some interesting reflections on the state of mainstream journalism vs. a site like wikileaks which appears to be achieving more:
As one admirer put it, "Wikileaks has probably produced more scoops in its short life than the Washington Post has in the past 30 years".... What's the explanation for Assange's success?
Most importantly, Wikleaks practises outsider journalism in a time when many reporters prefer to boast about being insiders... The problem, of course, is that journalists accustomed to walking the corridors of power are quite likely to end up sharing the attitudes and sensibilities of those they're supposed to scrutinise. Not surprisingly, within the US, sections of the media have been more concerned to argue that the war logs should never have been released than they've been to dig deeper into what the files reveal. In that respect, Wikileaks represents a very different model - basically, the journalist as outlaw... it's precisely Wikileaks' adversarial approach that has made its scoops possible.

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