But How Could Wikileaks Break A Story Without Traditional Newspaper Backing?

from the welcome-to-the-new-world dept

By now you've likely seen the rather horrifying Collateral Murder website, put together from the video leaked to Wikileaks (for which, apparently, US intelligence officials investigated some of the Wikileaks folks). While there's a lot of ongoing back-and-forth over what the video really shows, there's no doubt that the release of the video is a journalistic scoop.

And yet, we keep being told that if newspapers fail, no one will be left to do investigative journalism?

So what were the traditional journalists doing to get this story? Rob Hyndman points to a story from a year ago about the mad dash of traditional DC reporters to butter up sources. And what great stories have been broken by the White House Press Corp. over the past year?

There's nothing inherent in newspapers that says that only they can do investigative reporting. As we've seen over and over and over and over again, investigative reporting comes in many forms, and it need not come directly from newspapers.

Perhaps the real question is why the traditional press never set up anything like Wikileaks itself. I guess they're too busy trying to butter up some source in the White House who they hope will feed them a story for political purposes, rather than breaking any real news.

Filed Under: breaking, investigative, journalism
Companies: wikileaks

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  1. identicon
    Christopher Smith, 6 Apr 2010 @ 10:07am


    I think that many here at Techdirt would agree with you, but the point that's being made is that the traditional journalists are claiming that their business is reporting news and keeping politicians honest. Because of this crucial role, they say, the rest of us should be required to give them special treatment. Stories like this point up their hypocrisy.

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