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What's New About Wikileaks

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An initial look at what is new politically and journalistically about Wikileaks. Is it a new form of journalism? what impact will it have on democracy?

An initial look at what is new politically and journalistically about Wikileaks. Is it a new form of journalism? what impact will it have on democracy?

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  • 1. What’s new about Wikileaks?
    Charlie Beckett
    POLIS, LSE
    @charliebeckett
    c.h.beckett@lse.ac.uk
    www.charliebeckett.org
  • 2. It’s traditional journalism
    It takes a source (leaker) to make a Wikileak
    It has an editor and a newsroom and a brand
    It’s selective – they chose what to release
    It has a motive – to expose abuses
    It needs a platform with an audience
    It can be sued, censored and it needs revenue
    http://futureoftheinternet.org/wikileaks-cable-faq
  • 3. It’s a new challenge to power
  • 4.
  • 5. Its’ a new challenge to power
    “What WikiLeaks is really exposing is the extent to which the western democratic system has been hollowed out.”
    John Naughton
  • 6. It’s a new challenge to power
    That’s why they are attacking it
    It gives evidence for abuse of power
    It protects sources and disseminates beyond normal legal sanctions
    It exposes how power works, not just what it does
    It is ideologically motivated
    It is a challenge to networked power (Castells)
  • 7. It’s a new challenge to journalism
    “It….forces journalists and news organisations to demonstrate to what extent they are now part of an establishment it is their duty to report.”
    Emily Bell
  • 8. It’s a new challenge to journalism
    It is independent
    It is non-profit
    It is ideologically motivated
    It is disruptive of normal media/power relations
    It has a different risk calculation
    It is not accountable to usual media regulation
  • 9. It’s networked data journalism
    It relies on user generated content (the leakers!)
    It is working with mainstream media
    It is putting material online for public to use
    It is supported by the public
    But:
    Is it transparent?
  • 10. Where does it end?
    Transparency as default
    Endless accountability
    Or:
    Privacy premium
    Digital vaults
    Uneven Internet
  • 11. What’s new about Wikileaks?
    Charlie Beckett
    POLIS, LSE
    @charliebeckett
    c.h.beckett@lse.ac.uk
    www.charliebeckett.org

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