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Julian Assange: rethinking old/new media

From a Time magazine interview with Julian Assange:

RS: I want to ask you a broader question, about the role of technology and the burgeoning world of social media. How does that affect the goal you’re trying to achieve of more transparent and more open societies? I assume that enables what you’re trying to do.
JA: Let me just talk about transparency for a moment. It is not our goal to achieve a more transparent society; it’s our goal to achieve a more just society. And most of the times, transparency and openness tends to lead in that direction, because abusive plans or behavior get opposed, and so those organizations which tend to commit them are opposed before the plan’s implemented, or it’s an exposure or something previously done, the organization tends to lose a [inaudible], which is then transferred to another, and then we [inaudible] organization. For the rise of social media, it’s quite interesting. When we first started, we thought we would have the analytical work done by bloggers and people who wrote Wikipedia articles and so on. And we thought that was a natural, given that we had lots of quality, important content. Surely it’s more interesting to write an article about top-secret Chinese [inaudible] or an internal document from Somalia or secret documents revealing what happened in [inaudible], all of which we published, than it is to simply write a blog about what’s on the front page of the New York Times, or about your cat or something. But actually it turns out that that is not at all true. The bulk of the heavy lifting — heavy analytical lifting — that is done with our materials is done by us, and is done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human-rights activists. It is not done by the broader community. However, once the initial lifting is done, once a story becomes a story, becomes a news article, then we start to see community involvement, which digs deeper and provides more perspective. So the social networks tend to be, for us, an amplifier of what we are doing. And also a supply of sources for us.
So when I saw this problem early on in our first year, that the analytical effort which we thought would be supplied by Internet citizens around the world was not, I saw that, well, actually, in terms of articles, form tends to follow the funding. You can’t expect to get news-style articles out of people that are not funded after a career structure in the same way that news organizations are. You will get a different sort of form, and that form may be commentary, which sometimes is very good and sometimes there are very senior people providing commentary that is within their media experience, or we get sources who hand over material, because once again, within their media experience, it is an important issue to them. But what we don’t get from the [inaudible] community is people writing articles about an issue that they didn’t have an intimate involvement with in the first place. And of course, if you think about it, that’s natural — why would they be? The incentive’s not there. When people write political commentary on blogs or other social media, it is my experience that it is not — with some exceptions — their goal to expose the truth. Rather, it is their goal to position themselves among their peers on whatever the issue of the day is. The most effective, the most economical way to do that is simply to take the story that’s going around — it has already created a marketable audience for itself — and say whether they’re in favor of that interpretation or not.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2034040-3,00.html#ixzz17DDJKrL7

by teru kuwayama at 2010-12-05 18:42:13 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Thanks for sharing this..

A summery of the attacks Wikileaks experienced in the last week.


They are under another one at the moment.

by Ethan Knight | 06 Dec 2010 03:12 (ed. Dec 6 2010) | Auckland, New Zealand | | Report spam→
Also look at the other influences on the web that may be more dangerous because we accept them- the power and intrusiveness of Google, for example. In fact the corporate structure as a entity that exists in a geo-political marketplace is perhaps even more dangerous than government, and the collusion between the two is the most significant force in shaping the world today. In American we what amounts to theft in the relationship between the people who print and regulate money and the corporations that control the money market in New York. And where is the reporting? Where the glorious New York Times for example? Too busy collecting ads from Cartier perhaps? Its hard to really decipher what the editors up there are about in their reporting, or are they simply too beholden to the big money in New York to be responsive or speak out?

by [former member] | 06 Dec 2010 14:12 (ed. Dec 6 2010) | | Report spam→
There is an excellent documentary call “The world according to Google” that I saw last year. For Google, there is no private infos on you, it is all public.


by Yves Choquette | 06 Dec 2010 22:12 | Montreal, Canada, Canada | | Report spam→
I am staggered that the US State Department is sponsoring World Press Day 2011 (see topics above on the homepage). What hypocrites, considering all the low life stuff they have resorted to in the effort to close down WikiLeaks. It should be boycotted not attended. Are others with me on this?

by Stephen Asprey | 08 Dec 2010 04:12 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Stephen, I think there more to be gained by attending than boycotting or staying away from the event – take positive, affirmative steps to increase awareness of the actions of organisations like Google, US and Chinese Govts etc.

Given a voice and the opportunity of a stage, go use it rather than no-one turn up and say nothing.

We should see that fact that the US has been chosen to host World Press Day as an opportunity rather than misfortune.

by Jason Tanner | 08 Dec 2010 06:12 | Islamabad, Pakistan | | Report spam→
Jason you’r right except that your chance to show your point at these kind of event are close to zero. Anyway how the WPD is important for the average person? It is for us only because we are in the business.

And this is why “alternative newspaper” , “social journalism”, etc. is important as it is almost you’r only chance to tell the true without being censored by your editor.

by Yves Choquette | 08 Dec 2010 14:12 | Montreal, Canada, Canada | | Report spam→
Brother t:

this too :))


by [former member] | 10 Dec 2010 03:12 | Charlotte, NC, United States | | Report spam→
Heads of state, even democratically elected ones, are not necessarily fond of democracy as it is often an impediment to the policies and actions they are trying to achieve.

by Barry Milyovsky | 10 Dec 2010 16:12 | Manhattan, United States | | Report spam→

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teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Ethan Knight, Documentary Photographer Ethan Knight
Documentary Photographer
Bangkok , Thailand
Yves Choquette, Photojournalist Yves Choquette
Montreal , Canada
Stephen Asprey, Photojournalist Stephen Asprey
(Visual Journalism)
Sydney , Australia
Jason Tanner, Photographer Jason Tanner
San Jose , Costa Rica
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States


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