Content|October 17, 2011| Author: Steven Hodson|Tags: , ,

Wikileaks has not, and will not, change the news media says editor

Wikileaks has, since almost its inception, been held up as some standard of how news will be delivered, and discovered.

Far from it says Tom Kent, Standards Editor and Deputy Managing Editor with Associated Press, pointing to the  famous Pentagon Papers in the US as an example of how “leaked information has long been useful to journalism. The secret points to the story … but the secret is not the story.”

In the case of Wikileaks, it is one thing to get the secrets and then dump them en masse onto the web but they still need to be sifted through, to be examined, to be verified. That is where the value of the journalist is more important than a dump of leaked documents.

“Leaks have their place but we shouldn’t let them replace the government’s duty to reveal public information. It’s depressing if governments can refuse and then turn and say: ‘It’s secret, just try to steal it’.”

With the advent of WikiLeaks, many both in and outside the media industry declared it would change the face of journalism, something Kent was quick to rubbish.

“People said WikiLeaks would totally change news. Well, it hasn’t… Wikileaks could change the world for better for worse… But as to changing how the news works, that won’t happen.”

via Editors Weblog

While some of what Tom Kent had to say does have a certain value it must also be stated that he does have a vested interested in the value of journalists and calling the value, and veracity, of things like Wikileaks into question.