What is it about Wikileaks that gets people so riled up? Is it jealousy for being able to flood the public debate with so many rich primary documents? Is it derision for putting information out without proper vetting and context?
Whatever it is, it’s clear that Wikileaks is a lot more popular in other parts of the world than it is in the U.S. Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com’s staunch defender of the site, noted this weekend that the organization received a Walkley Award, Australia’s highest journalistic honor. The group honored Wikileaks for:
WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup.
Its revelations, from the way the war on terror was being waged, to diplomatic bastardry, high-level horse-trading and the interference in the domestic affairs of nations, have had an undeniable impact.
The group did note that Wikileaks’ flaws are far outweighed by its contribution to the understanding of reality around the world, and the fact that its commitment to whistleblowers “has empowered people all over the world.”
It’s fair to note that Wikileaks’ creator and public face Julian Assange is an Australian citizen, and the Walkley’s are based in that country. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that in some countries Assange and Wikileaks represent a triumph of journalism, while in the U.S., politicians of all stripes and mainstream media organizations team up to attack the organization. (See this thorough examination of the attacks on Wikileaks from the Atlantic).
So where do you stand on Wikileaks? Good for journalism? Bad for journalism? Vote below, and add your thoughts and ideas in the comment section.