Illustration: Stuart Bradford. Source: ‘Click and Dagger Factory’ in MotherJones
Since our last post on the subject back in April (see WIKILEAKS) this groundbreaking network and their frontman Julian Assange continue to cause controversy and grab the headlines – most spectacularly with the recent release of thousands of US secret files on the war in Afghanistan. This is being called the biggest leak in intelligence history.
The Guardian’s Afghanistan: The War Logs is the place to read it all.
How the paper came to run the story and interact with Wikileaks is documented in ‘A Tranformative Moment’ by David Leigh, which ran yesterday in the Media Guardian. It explains in detail how The Guardian, Der Spiegel and the New York Times collaborated in an unprecedented journalistic effort to analyse the raw intelligence and prepare some of it for publication, from a secret ‘bunker’ in The Guardian’s London office. A key figure in the operation was journalist Nick Davies whose book ‘Flat Earth News’ is now a standard text on the decline of journalistic standards. This new experience in computer-assisted reporting may have changed his perspective.
Running alongside Wikileaks (and in consultation with it) are the plans to create the world’s first ‘information haven’ in Iceland, a place that will protect investigative journalism against litigation. The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative has already been unanimously passed by the country’s Parliament.
‘Shall We All Go To Iceland’ by Afua Hirsch (Media Guardian 12th July 2010) is an informative overview of the situation as of this month.
Rumours have been going round the net that Assange is planning to abandon Wikileaks. This report summarises the rumours and publishes a robust and sensible Wikileak response. Read it for yourself. Make up your own mind.
Have just discovered
No Secrets: Julian Assange’s mission for total transparency. by Raffi Khatchadourian (New Yorker . 7th June 2010)