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WikiLeaks. News in the Networked Era. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5227769
  • Book
  • January 2012
  • 180 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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WikiLeaks is the most challenging journalistic phenomenon to have emerged in the digital era. It has provoked anger and enthusiasm in equal measure, from across the political and journalistic spectrum.

WikiLeaks poses a series of questions to the status quo in politics, journalism and to the ways we understand political communication. It has compromised the foreign policy operations of the most powerful state in the world, broken stories comparable to great historic scoops like the Pentagon Papers, and caused the mighty international news organizations to collaborate with this tiny editorial outfit. Yet it may also be on the verge of extinction.

This is the first book to examine WikiLeaks fully and critically and its place in the contemporary news environment. The authors combine inside knowledge with the latest media research and analysis to argue that the significance of Wikileaks is that it is part of the shift in the nature of news to a network system that is contestable and unstable. Welcome to Wiki World and a new age of uncertainty.
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Preface by Emily Bell vii

Introduction 1

1 What was new about WikiLeaks? 15

1.1 The creation of WikiLeaks 15

1.2 The challenge of WikiLeaks to alternative journalism 26

1.3 The challenge of WikiLeaks to mainstream media journalism 32

1.4 The challenge of WikiLeaks to power 40

2 The greatest story ever told? The Afghan war logs, Iraq war logs and the Embassy cables 46

2.1 Introduction 46

2.2 Collaboration and the Afghan war logs 48

2.3 The Iraq war logs: collaboration under stress 55

2.4 The cables and the legal attack 59

2.5 Rights, risks and responsibilities 67

2.6 The responsibility of journalism to avoid harm 69

2.7 Responsibility to tell the truth 72

2.8 Responsibility to hold power to account 75

2.9 Conclusion 83

3 WikiLeaks and the future of journalism 85

3.1 Introduction 85

3.2 WikiLeaks as part of the battle for the open Net 92

3.3 WikiLeaks as a model 114

3.4 Hacktavism redux 117

3.5 Advocacy NGO journalism 120

3.6 Foundation and public journalism 122

3.7 Mainstream whistle-blowers 127

4 Social media as disruptive journalism: media, politics and network effects 130

4.1 Transparency and the network 131

4.2 Social media as political communications: 'The Arab Spring' 135

4.3 WikiLeaks – what next? 141

4.4 Conclusion: WikiLeaks, networked journalism and power 147

Epilogue 160

Notes 165

Bibliography 182

Index 190

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Charlie Beckett London School of Economics, UK.
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