Wednesday, February 09, 2011

john pilger: wikileaks changing the face of reportage

abc.net | How Wikileaks is changing news gathering, news reporting, sources and disclosures.

A London court is considering whether Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.

Lawyers for the 39-year-old Australian have told the court that their client would be denied justice if he is extradited and tried for rape in Sweden.

They also fear he could be sent to Guantanamo Bay and face the death penalty if he is then extradited from Sweden to the US on charges of illegally obtaining secret US diplomatic cables.

Julian Assange gained international notoriety last November when his whisleblowing website released hundreds of thousands of sensitive and secret cables to the world's most respected newspapers.

One member of the Norwegian Parliament has already nominated Wikileaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize although the Sydney Peace foundation has already announced it's honouring Julian Assange with a gold medal.

Yet despite the accolades there's no doubt that whistleblowing has taken a somewhat negative turn.

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who had a falling out with Julian Assange, says the bad press is because whistleblowers don't have control over the secrets they want to spill.

So he's announced Open Leaks, a new online platform that will allow sources to choose who they want to submit documents to anonymously.

Its aim he says is to make whistleblowing safer and more widespread through transparency and decentralisation.

So are we in the midst of a revolution in journalism? And what are the implications for journalists in the wake of Wikileaks and now Open Leaks?