It began in April with the release of a video showing Apache helicopter pilots killing civilians, including two Reuters employees, after apparently mistaking cameras for weapons, and ended in December with five of the world’s most respected print outlets publishing valuable reporting based on a trove of 260,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. This Year of WikiLeaks roiled the news equation and will continue to do so, even if WikiLeaks can’t manage to continue to produce documents on such a scale. As the U.S. government investigated possible criminal charges against Julian Assange, the organization’s public face, journalists around the world rightly began to worry about what such a prosecution would mean for everyday national security reporting. The U.S. has never tried to convict a journalist for publishing classified information, and any attempt would be a threat to our grand tradition of a free press. Meanwhile, the site’s vault to prominence has raised critical, tangled questions beyond press law—about the true goals of transparency and about the value of journalists. In late December, Clint Hendler, our WikiLeaks watcher, grappled with the site’s impact. You can find his piece, and a link to CJR’s comprehensive WikiLeaks coverage, here.
06:22 PM - January 8, 2011
Notes on 2010, the year of WikiLeaks
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section - It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one - A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London
Asperger’s, pedophiles, and questionable motivations - A dart to the Daily Beast, for its ill-informed speculation on Adam Lanza’s psyche
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
True on the internet
Different century, same tricks
Hint: viral wins
Bestowing the annual honor on Snowden would send an important message
Jane Hall interviews Barton Gellman about his NSA stories, including how Edward Snowden contacted him
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.