Jay Rosen has posted a smart video about Wikileaks. Here’s the key point:
The main reason why Wikileaks causes so much anxiety with our journalists is that they haven’t really faced the fact that the watchdog press they treasured so much died under George Bush. It failed, and instead of rushing to analyze this failure and prevent it from ever happening again, instead of a truth-and-reconciliation-commission-style effort that would look at how could this happen, mostly what our journalists did, with a few exceptions, was they just went on to the next story. The watchdog press died, and what we have is Wikileaks instead.
He also points out that Wikileaks’ success is driven by the sources putting more trust in Wikileaks than the press.
In more Assange-free analysis, Robert X Cringely, the tech writer, has an interesting perspective on how the press leveraged leaks before Wikileaks.
If we can ever get past the Assange distraction, the big Wikileaks story is how it is a response to the failure of mainstream journalism, and how mainstream journalism in the US is engaging in some significant self-hate when they demonize Wikileaks. A key indicator that I’m watching is whether any mainstream media outlet will editorialize against Amazon’s decision to pull the plug on Wikileaks.