New York Times

2012-02-18 Revolutionary Journalism in a Time of Universal Deceit


Image Credit: Original Image - Time Cover Image "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" Dec. 13, 2010 Modified by idlewild606

WikiLeak's rise to prominence as the world's first stateless media organization has carried it into the center of a massive storm of controversy. On one hand WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have widespread global support and have won numerous journalism awards. On the other hand, the US government portrayed them as a criminal entity, as a sort of spy organization and certainly not a member of the press protected by the First Amendment. Some top US officials called Assange a high-tech terrorist and should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917.

With inflamed rhetoric, many in the mainstream media have negatively framed the narrative of this new journalistic force and tried to distance themselves from it. By doing so, they attempted to deflect perception of WikiLeaks from the appearance of legitimacy associated with the word 'journalism'. One tactic was sensational personal attacks, with classic tabloid character assassination of Assange to distract the public from asking questions about the real actions of WikiLeaks. The other was sophisticated intellectual persuasion, where the corporate media criticized the organization, particularly questioning its journalistic status.

2011-03-01 "This Week in WikiLeaks" Podcast - The Corporate War on WikiLeaks Supporters

ImageUpdate: Edited podcast episode is now posted. The fourth episode of this weekly podcast, which looks at stories related to WikiLeaks from the past week, featured guest Kevin Zeese, who is with the Bradley Manning Support Network and, which is a project dedicated to preventing the prosecution and extradition of Assange to the United States. The podcast also welcomed CMN News correspondent Chris Novembrino, who provided commentary throughout the episode.

2011-01-29 Bill Keller and WikiLeaks

Bill Keller, the New York Times' executive editor, published an enormous article on the 26th of January about the New York Times' dealings with WikiLeaks. The article develops further the running story of WikiLeaks' relationship with its media partners, the subject of a Vanity Fair piece earlier in the month.

Much has been made of the negative light in which Julian Assange appears in the article. Wired's Kim Zetter published a digest piece, in which the more absurd claims of the piece are given particular attention but little critical treatment. The more colourful parts of the article were, predictably, grist to the celebrity gossip mill.

Perhaps the most important thing about the article, though, is that it is the first authoritative indication that the Times is willing to take a stand for media freedoms in the United States. During the height of official outrage over Cablegate late last year, when the use of the Espionage Act was being widely touted as a convenient way to perform an end run around First Amendment protections, it fell to the Washington Post's editorial section to issue a strong defense of freedom of speech. The Times, with its history of media partnership with WikiLeaks, remained conspicuously silent.

No longer. Keller now issues a strong (albeit heavily qualified) defense of those freedoms:

2011-01-17 Comments on the new national government formed in Tunisia

The New York Times, the Guardian, and WL Central have all reported on a new national-unity government being formed in Tunisia today. However, the NYT and the Guardian have delivered notably different accounts of what is unfolding in Tunisia, with the Guardian stressing national unity and concessions, and the NYT concentrating on the continued unrest and dissatisfaction. As reported by the Guardian:

The government hopes the new coalition cabinet will help to stabilise the north African country of 10 million, which is still in turmoil after the sudden collapse of Ben Ali's rule last week amid a popular uprising. "We are committed to intensifying our efforts to re-establish calm and peace in the hearts of all Tunisians," Ghannouchi told a news conference. "Our priority is security, as well as political and economic reform." He named Chebbi, founder of the opposition PDP party, as minister of regional development.

And the NYT reported:

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