On a day when Julian Assange is arrested, it is interesting to think beyond the arrest and to the wider issues it represents
Here are some thoughts:
1) If we break down ‘news’ – News involves
- Acquire the content
- Editing the content
- Providing independent analysis
The source needs authority to be accepted.
2) Now, we don’t need journalists to acquire news. There are many alternate sources. Most of my ‘latest news’ I get from Twitter. We don’t need journalists or newspapers to edit the story and provide analysis (and add their bias!). As readers, we want to make our own decisions. The packaging is done by the Web(for free). News is designed often to ‘sell newspapers’. We (as readers) don’t have any desire to support the coffers of media companies.
3) This leaves the case of ‘authority’. Is CNN authoritative? yes and no. How can they (and other sources) be ‘independent’ if they are ‘embedded in military assignments’ like in Iraq? How ‘unbiased’ can newspapers be when the likes of Rupert Murdoch ‘direct’ their newspapers to support political parties in the UK . So, we got a very tame, watered down and consistent view from ALL the traditional media
4) Wikileaks gives us the SOURCE and then leaves US(or in many cases the Old media journalists) analysing it which leads us to the curious position of the mainstream media reporting on wikileaks (when they should be earning their salary by going to the source themselves). Going to the source is not hard. When the Swine flu threat was on, I often saw the CDC web site (Centres for Disease control and prevention) – and I often knew the same ‘news’ way before it appeared on the media .. since the media were simply repackaging the CDC information..
So, wikileaks model of ‘releasing the source’ could well be the future of media .. which empowers citizens but questions the need and relevance of old media practices