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
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Apr 2010 @ 7:30am

    I find it ironic that Wikileaks is all of a sudden cracking videos only after an obsolete GSM encryption standard that everyone still uses just so happens to have been cracked rather recently.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20091229/1044447528.shtml

    Apparently, $30,000 worth of equipment was necessary to crack it at the time which would suggest that "supercomputer power" was needed to crack it.

    Ironically, on a twitter tweet, Wikileaks said they obtained some video (supposedly it was another video, the video on the Afghanistan shootings that killed 97 people) but they needed (I think the words they used were) "supercomputer power" to crack. Apparently they got their supercomputer power.

    I suspect, just like the cell phone industry in the U.S. and everyone else in the U.S., the government didn't bother to go through the trouble of updating their GSM encryption standard to the latest version. Since supercomputer power is needed to crack the very previous release, I suspect that after Wikileaks has learned about this group who has figured out how to crack GSM encryption technology and has learned that supercomputer power is needed to crack it, they figure that there was a lot of information encrypted under this standard that was worth cracking. and so they went out after supercomputer power in order to crack it.

    1 + 1 = 2 .

    Who do you think helped wikileaks crack this video? Ask yourself a simple question, who is publicly known to have the know how to crack it? The very same group that is known to have cracked it mentioned in the above link (now I'm likely to get them investigated). Either that or Wikileaks found someone else who has cracked it after wikileaks learned from this group that it's crackable.

    Serves the government right for not upgrading to the latest encryption standards when they should have.

    Then again, I'm not even sure if GSM is used for videos or if the government even used it in this case, these are all just guesses.

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