Tag Archives: wikileakes

Dishing out Wikileaks

Wikileaks US diplomatic Cables dossier is indeed one of the biggest scoops of the recent times along with previous two Wikileak exposes.

Over 250,00o cables of raw data being dished out all containing potentially secret information translates into voluminous data house.

How do you manage the dump? What you do and how you dish it to sustain the interest in the information.

It’s been a week and only around 700 cables have been made public and the interest seems to be fading.

Though five media houses the guardian in the UK, The New York Times in the US, Sipigel in Germany, el paise in Spain and L Mode in France got the shared information from the whistleblower website, it’s interesting to see how they have worked out their distinctive ways to dish out the humongous information.

Information overdose

The way in which both the English language publications the Guardian and NYT have gone about it on web is to bombard users with information. In a way that becomes a bit too much for an average reader.

They without doubt have all the refined info and have developed separate sections. The Guardian website has been opening with WIkileaks and so is NYT for the last one week.

But it is very static in layout, at times a bit too heavy.

Be selective

Interestingly the Time magazine, which is not a part of the famous five publications, has been very innovative and dynamic in their approach.

They came later but devised a good strategy of using multimedia tools and videos to maximum effect. Two days after the leak they managed to get an Skype interview with Julian Assange all for 36 minutes.

They ran a story with a teaser the conversation will follow later.

A couple of days later they came with an edition on wikileaks and gave all the related elements though not the exact leaks in a fairly engaging manner.

Juice it up

There were video bytes of the skype conversation with Assange used the hilt.

Though the guardian did host the live chat but the skype video in parts makes sense. They have kept stories sharp with elements of colour to keep the reader engaged.

Though the issue is subjective, but a call need to be taken to make the information more engaging.

As I mentioned earlier that new age media is the tool to develop a story, these examples show how it can add to  the longevity and effectiveness of the story.



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Still reading Assange

The name Julian Assange evokes extreme reactions. Love him or hate him, but it’s hard to ignore him.

In the last few days this elusive yet omnipresent founder of whistleblower website WikiLeaks has managed to take over sizable media space across the globe and some mind space as well for sure.

I have been following the developments around US Cable leaks and developments around Assange.

The second half has really got me glued, for the cables don’t have anything major or direct consequence so far.

The Thread

Reading an opinion piece The Hunt for Julian Assange in The Thread section of New York Times which takes an in-depth look at how major news and controversies are being debated across the online spectrum.

I was amazed by the commentary which for me showed emotions of US journos at large towards this one man.

From a spy, to someone with blood on his hands to being an infoterroist, emotions flew left right and center making me wonder is this how journalists should react.

Some went to extent of assuming how Abhram Lincoln would have reacted to this. Bizzare.

In one of my earlier post I had mentioned how this guy with a computer has managed to irk US authorities and piss them off that some have compared him to Taliban or Osama Bin Laden.

These thoughts were echoed here in this one but with a different treatment.

The investors.com said : “The Bible assures us “there is not anything secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hid that shall not be known and come abroad.” In this vein, former computer hacker and self-styled “journalist” Julian Assange is again playing God, using his WikiLeaks cyberterrorism organization to reveal the military and diplomatic secrets of the Free World as it fights radical Islam and other threats.”

How justified is use of word cyber terrorism I wonder?

Kill bill

Another one Ezra Levant of The Ottawa Sun raises the ante: Why isn’t Julian Assange dead yet?  His obsession is to embarrass the world’s freest countries — the U.S. and U.K.

Well if the countries are really freest than this guy has a right to express himself. There could be other ways of dealing with him other than killing him.

The writer goes on to say…And U.S. President Barack Obama could do what he’s doing to the Taliban throughout the world. He doesn’t sue them or catch them. He kills them. Because it’s war. Obama has even ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki. How does Obama see Assange any differently.

What Obama or rather the US led forces are doing is another matter of debate, but in no ways gives Obama or anyone right to kill someone.

Some question him being called editor of Wikileaks, while others say everyone should calm down and give Assange a time out. Well could do that but will a good story be suppressed so easily?

Legally speaking

At last what drew me all the way down through the long page was the question on could the US  prosecute Assange?

Legal scholar Stephen L. Carter at The Daily Beast said: “I think we could. Most of the conversation has centered on the Espionage Act of 1917. Assange’s violation seems fairly clear. The statute bars the ‘unauthorized’ possessor of a document who ‘has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation’ to communicate or transmit the document ‘to any person not entitled to receive it.’ ”

Well that is a legitimate reasoning of all what I read, but in the end commentator Tobin Harshaw concluded. Still unknown: Whether Julian Assange is on the right side of it or not.

I say the fascination continues.

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Leaked again: Wiki third time lucky, How?

Whistleblower website Wikileaks quarter million leaks of backstage diplomatic conversations of the US diplomats have put the USA in a tight spot over its international relation issues.

The western big daddy taking shots at its allies and calling world leaders names is something that the US leaders would have not liked the world to know.

250,000 cable leaks after two revelations first 90,000 records of US military incidents about the war in Afghanistan and followed by 400,000 similar documents on Iraq, is a big jolt for the image of the US.

The western superpower spares no effort in propagating its mission of equality, democracy, fairness and democracy, but this leak does more harm to its image.

Calling allies names and serious allegations of spying over the UN leadership puts US in a not so comfortable position. Though secretary of state Hillary Clinton spun into action a couple of days back, it will be difficult for it to do damage control.

These are issues of global relation, complex sensibilities and volatile dynamics but what comes as a surprise to me more than the revelations is the way and frequency with which these revelations have been made.

Claims have been made that US military official Bradley Manning is the man behind the leaking diplomatic cables and other classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Leaks on these scale being made thrice makes one suspicious about the approach the US authorities have adopted in curbing these damaging leaks.

How can Julian Assanage, the founder of Wikileaks managed to irk the USA thrice and achieve this feat is what leaves me wondering?

The Washington correspondent of the BBC said this is being linked to the system of the US adopted after 9/11 to share intelligence across its various positions (base) worldwide which enabled Manning to download these state secrets and leaking them.

Simple logic given to decode the biggest leaks in the living memory is hard to digest.

What implications these leaks will have on the future of global relations for US is a matter I leave to thinking minds.

Will there be fourth, fifth and subsequent leaks is something that draws my interest.


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