Thursday, December 2, 2010

Assange Says Professional Journalists Have Better Incentive than Bloggers

Bloggers' Goal to "Position Themselves Amongst Their Peers" - Not to Expose the Truth

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, says that he once thought bloggers and "people who write Wikipedia articles" would do the heavy lifting in the job of analyzing and diffusing Wikileaks material.

He says now, however, that they chose to partner with mainstream media outlets to analyze and release leaked files because, with some exceptions, bloggers' goal is "not to expose the truth."

"Rather, it is their goal to position themselves amongst their peers on whatever the issue of the day is. The most effective, the most economical way to do that, is simply to take the story that's going around, [which] has already created a marketable audience for itself, and say whether they're in favour of that interpretation or not."

Speaking in an interview with Time Magazine by Skype from an undisclosed location, Assange goes on to say that, while social networks do have a role in amplifying the stories, the career structure and funding of professional journalists gives them more incentive to be reliable partners.

Assange raises interesting issues. No doubt it is true that many bloggers write "their take" on whatever story is going around. However, it is also true that bloggers often connect dots that are ignored by the MSM.

In a sense, Assange himself is a blogger with a unique niche. Meanwhile, every single MSM outlet probably on the planet has felt obliged to have their own "fake" bloggers. Obviously there is more of a gradation from the blogger who "writes about their cat" to the senior reporters of the New York Times than Assange gives credit for. He does acknowledge that the blogosphere has become more of a "source" for Wikileaks.

1 comment:

The Mound of Sound said...

Oh well, Assange is doomed. I'll be surprised if he's not broken on the wheel. His end was foretold when he disclosed his intention to release a dump of documents on Bank of America. Once that happened he became the 21st century's John Dillinger, wanted dead or alive.