UK political commentator James Barlow: listing a collection of links to warlogs on the British military\n\n
DMI Workshop: Wikileaks and the Myth of (Data-Driven) Citizen Journalism (wiki-leaks workshop)
WikiLeaks and the Myth of (Data-Driven) Citizen JournalismCatalina Iorga, Research MA in Media Studies ’11, University of Amsterdam
The Beneﬁts of Open Govt. Data External Contributions • Specialised skills, local knowledge, ‘professional amateurs (Jennifer Bell, VisibleGovernment.ca, 2009) Citizen Empowerment • “these applications arm citizens with the information they need to make decisions every day” (data.gov, 2010) Software Innovation • Open licenses, existing technologies and communities (Jonathan Gray, Open Knowledge Foundation, 2010)
Data-driven Journalism Large datasets available online • The Afghan War Diary 2004 - 2010 (WikiLeaks, 2010) Information visualisation tools • Guardian Data Explorer (Tony Hirst) Narratives powered by the Web • Using the Web “to tell a story, not just as a delivery medium” (Alan Maclean, The New York Times, 2010)
Research QuestionWhat kind of stories do (data-driven)citizen journalists tell about the war inAfghanistan by referencing WikiLeaksdocuments?
Intended WikiLeaks‘Assange himself has stated that WikiLeaks hasdeliberately moved away from the "egocentric"blogosphere and assorted social media andnowadays collaborates only with professionaljournalists and human rights activists.’(Geert Lovink, ‘Twelve Theses on WikiLeaks’, 2010)
Distinctiondata-driven mainstream journalism vs. data-driven citizen journalism
Why Links?• Forms of citation• Indicators of (citizen / user) engagement
Afghan War Diary• “ an extraordinary secret compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.”• “ the most signiﬁcant archive about the reality of war to have ever been released during the course of a war.” (WikiLeaks, 2010) Image source: http://wardiary.wikileaks.org
Afghan War Diary - Der Spiegel“Deadly Toll”(Der Spiegel, 2010: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/bild-708314-114716.html)
Afghan War Diary - TheGuardian“Afghanistan war logs: IED attacks on civilians, coalition and Afghan troops”(The Guardian, 2010: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/datablog/interactive/2010/jul/26/ied-afghanistan-war-logs)
Methodology• Observe the common root of all Afghan War Diary 2004 - 2010 document URLs (‘http://wardiary.wikileaks.org/afg/ event).• Query Google with the Google Scraper to get the ﬁrst 1000 results which contain this common root as a textual component.• Submit the top 100 results to the Link Ripper to extract all outlinks to speciﬁc Afghan War Diary 2004 - 2010 document pages.• Insert the Link Ripper output in the Harvester to remove textual descriptions and alphabetize the obtained URL list.• Manually clean the output by searching for the http:// wardiary.wikileaks.org/afg/event and produce a list of Afghan War Diary 2004 - 2010 document URLs.• Select all documents that receive at least two links and compile a ﬁnal list of the most mentioned warlogs.
Limitations• Searching for inlinks with Yahoo! Site Explorer or Google yielded similar results.• Finding inlinks with different descriptions is very difficult.
Types of Accounts‘Connect the Dots’ / Conspiratorial Reasoning(Peak of Elephants, Jul 26 2010: http://peakofelephants.posterous.com/post/ 861912878)
Most Linked Logs Idaho Soldier Captured in Afghanistan• WTOP (news radio, Washington, DC) • 8 mentions• KomoNews (news radio, Seattle, DC) • Only• SF Examiner (daily paper, San Francisco, CA) mainstream stories• Newser (US-based news site)• Lebanon Daily News (daily paper, Lebanon County, PA)• Las Vegas Sun (daily paper, Las Vegas, NV)• Yahoo! News• AP (press agency)
Most Linked LogsFour Canadians Killed in Friendly Fire• UberVu • 4 mentions• Ottawa Forums • Overlap of• Wikipedia mainstream and alternative comments• CyberPresse
ConclusionData-Driven Citizen Journalism = AbsentPossible Reasons • too much data • technical military terms • mainstream media ﬁlters
CreditsResearch done by: • Camilo Cristancho (PhD candidate in Political Science at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) • Matteo Cernison (PhD Candidate in Social and Political Science at European University Institute, Florence) • Catalina IorgaWiki: https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/DataDrivenUserJournalism
P.S.Go to http://wikileaks.ch/ (instead of the official website)for:• Guantanamo Files: http://wikileaks.ch/gitmo/• Cablegate: http://wikileaks.ch/cablegate.html• Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs: http://wikileaks.ch/iraq/diarydig/
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