Posted By RichC on April 10, 2010
Wikileaks.org, a news-ish organization organization that publishes anonymous submissions and leaks of sensitive documents operating under the moniker of the “Sunshine Press",” is in the hot seat again with recent Internet based journalism (info from Wikipedia). Their story selection or submission (depending on point of view) shows little attention toward responsible journalism or concern as to the harm that may come as a result of their reporting, instead they are
following leading the trend toward more sensational and editorial journalism publishing stories from anonymous sources and ‘leaks.’ For the cable news folks, editorializing seems to sell advertising … I’m not sure what the intent is for Wikileaks – perhaps philosophical points of view?
The event at the middle of the recent firestorm (see a Wikileaks PDF) is a classified video taken by U.S. helicopter gunships engaging a group of Iraqi men gathering in 2007, an attack which unfortunately killed Reuters news reporting personnel and injured a couple children. There wasn’t all that much doubt that some in the group were armed and therefore the helicopters followed ‘rule of engagement’ (according to reports). Explanations from the U.S. government about the event has been less than clarifying and do little to get out front of the story; war is a difficult and ugly business.
Wikileaks hurts coalition peace efforts in Iraq and does a disservice to the business of journalism by reporting the story from a bias. Their promotion of an edited version of an encrypted military gunship video only stirs the pot in an area of unrest in order to secure peace. Their notations, highlights and arrows did little to provide a balance report and most likely adds to the tension in Iraq. The ‘short’ version has been widely circulated and is less than fair to U.S. troops who operated daily in Iraqi hot zones. To be fair, there is also a full version of the unedited video on YouTube … but it is less widely circulated. It is equally disturbing, so take caution before viewing (below).
War, combat and killing to deal with when battling guerilla insurgency; it is made all the more difficult when organization operating under the guise of ‘journalism’ bias their stories in order to prompt a point of view.