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
‘See you on the other side’ - Meet Jessica Lum, a terminally ill 25-year-old who chose to spend what little time she had practicing journalism
#Realtalk: This is the best moment to be in journalism - The old stuff isn’t coming back, but that’s okay
Streams of consciousness - Millennials expect a steady diet of quick-hit, social-media-mediated bits and bytes. What does that mean for journalism?
Sticking with the truth - How ‘balanced’ coverage helped sustain the bogus claim that childhood vaccines can cause autism
An ink-stained stretch - Can Aaron Kushner save the Orange County Register—and the newspaper industry?
Yet another serious escalation of the Obama administration’s attacks on press freedoms emerges
Court documents in the Kim case reveal how deeply investigators explored the private communications of a working journalist — and raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010
The Reyes affidavit all but eliminates the traditional distinction in classified leak investigations between sources, who are bound by a non-disclosure agreement, and reporters, who are protected by the First Amendment as long as they do not commit a crime
“At some point you have to say, a law that people don’t obey is a bad law”
David Foster Wallace’s 2005 Kenyon commencement speech as a short film
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.