The Background Story Of The NY Times' Relationship With Julian Assange
from the complex-actors-in-complex-situations dept
Keller's final suggestion that Wikileaks' impact has been "overblown" is belied somewhat by the fact that Keller just spilled so much ink on the background of the paper's association (and subsequent blacklisting) with the organization. There are other points that could be nitpicked, but it's not surprising that Keller seeks to position the NY Times in the best possible light, and perhaps minimize the contributions of Wikileaks itself. But, just the fact that the NYT's is now considering its own Wikileaks, shows that the idea certainly has changed the way many people think about this aspect of reporting.
I'd argue -- as some others have -- that the impact of Wikileaks has actually been both over- and under-estimated. And part of the problem is that so many people are quick to conflate the idea of such an organization with the single organization itself (or worse, with a single person in the form of an easily dislikable Julian Assange). But it's a mistake to think that just because the particular organization itself is flawed, that its existence and what it's accomplished so far won't have profound effects on secrecy in organizations (government and corporate), the practice of journalism itself (which has suddenly gotten a hint of what's possible), and the idea of distributed or "stateless" organizations as enablers of information flow. It's that last point that I think many are ignoring, and that will later prove to be a mistake.