Why WikiLeaks and the Mainstream Media Still Need Each Other

Regardless of the content, it’s clear that WikiLeaks’ partnership with The New York Times, Der Spiegel and The Guardian was unprecedented. Never before had a private organization provided multiple mainstream media sources with access (albeit embargoed) to classified government information. This new strategy marks a shift not just for WikiLeaks, which has been leaking classified information since 2005, but for whistle blowing in general. In a nutshell, the latest leak from WikiLeaks signals a seminal change for investigative journalism.

As the old media monsters shrivel up under the blinding light of the internet’s new blogosphere-megaplex, these kinda of partnerships – where vested interests, national security, and public tastemaking collide – will come to define how we interact with our own governments. When we can’t – or don’t – trust the authenticity information we are fed from institutions with vested interests, we turn to new sources for “truth”. In the process, fact and fiction are marginalized in favor of explosive popularity…

…and the media’s relationships (pulic-private, author-viewer, subscriber-editor) erode, giving way to new systems of belief and readership.

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