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
Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage - “Lovers of journalism in this newsroom are pissed. It’s bad.”
Paper files public records request—and city’s response is a lawsuit - Local officials argue Montana courts should strike balance between privacy and disclosure
BBC Pop-Up reports from small town America - A small team is traveling across the United States for six months in hopes of finding underreported local stories
What game design can do for journalism - Three newly selected fellows at American University talk about the medium’s future
Timeline, an app based on ‘the history of…’ - But chronology doesn’t reveal everything
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
“It should be made clear, in law, that the tasks security reseachers do to make the net more secure and journalists do to understand and contextualize the truth for the public are not crimes”
People have become less trusting of major institutions, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer. And large majorities doubt that businesses want to make the world a better place.
Public editor Margaret Sullivan on why the paper should have published the images.
“I feel the need to offer my perspective as someone who is not a teenager but who has thought about these issues extensively for years.”
Greg Marx discusses democracy and news with Tom Rosenstiel of the American Press Institute
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.
Hey millionaire tech bros: Have patience with the editorial process – Chris Hughes probably wanted to enable great journalism at first. Then the dust settled and before you know it, he’s shaking everything up again