Is Wikileaks (releasing the source information and allowing us to make the analysis) the future of journalism?

On a day when Julian Assange is arrested, it is interesting to think beyond the arrest and to the wider issues it represents

Firstly, would we need wikileaks if our ‘journalists’ did a good job in the first place?

Here are some thoughts:

1) If we break down ‘news’ – News involves
- Acquire the content
- Editing the content
- Providing independent analysis
- Packaging

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


  1. khj says:

    Maybe a good thing ….

    We NEED proper steering mechanism to survive the global society we created with technology. Transparancy/involvism is needed. It’s urgend, at this moment our society has an obsolete 200 years old steering mechanism. How can a few wise people understand these complex global issues pending ?

    Would we have gone to Iraq over Weapons of mass destruction is we were part of the diplomatic cable discussion ?
    Better of with more transparency ? Credit Crises / Cable gate shows governments are not so much in control of the global society.
    Wasn’t it work of the press to tell us the truth ?

    At least the cork out of the bottle. Fact is that secrets are harder to keep anno 2010.
    Shutting down is naive. Discuss it is the only option.. Come on free press, have vision ..take the lead.

  2. ajit says:

    Thanks for your comments!