Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Media

Newspapers Cut Wikileaks Out of Shield Law 602

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the something-about-clubs-and-members dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The US press has been pushing for a (much needed) federal shield law, that would allow reporters to protect their sources. It's been something of a political struggle for a few years now, and things were getting close when Wikileaks suddenly got a bunch of attention for leaking all those Afghan war documents. Suddenly, the politicians involved started working on an amendment that would specifically carve out an exception for Wikileaks so that it would not be covered by such a shield law. And, now, The First Amendment Center is condemning the newspaper industry for throwing Wikileaks under the bus, as many in the industry are supporting this new amendment, and saying that Wikileaks doesn't deserve source protection because 'it's not journalism.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Newspapers Cut Wikileaks Out of Shield Law

Comments Filter:
  • LOLWUT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bertoelcon (1557907) * <berto.el.con@noSpAm.gmail.com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:52PM (#33440180)

    Wikileaks doesn't deserve source protection because 'it's not journalism.

    Did the news industry forget what journalism is?

    • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mark72005 (1233572) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:53PM (#33440200)
      Yes, a number of years ago.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mike260 (224212)

        Yes, a number of years ago.

        Just shy of 9 years ago by my count.

        • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Monkey-Man2000 (603495) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:15PM (#33440620)
          Probably at least 14; you remember Drudge's influence on "journalism" during the Clinton years? He's just a linkmeister like most of the web now, certainly not more of a journalist than Wikileaks providing resources to NY Times, etc. But still influential and drives the news narrative since most journalists (supposedly) have him as a home page to launch their leads [newsbusters.org]. Or that's what he became famous for from the late 90's anyway. It's hard to say if he's a leader or follower now from my POV... My point however is that journalists haven't driven the news by original, non-wire "news" in a long-time. It's been agenda-driven no matter who the "journalists'" leaders or masters are.
          • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:49PM (#33441074)
            Drudge became famous (infamous?) after he broke a hard news story that the editors at Newsweek decided to bury out of political favoritism. So while you seem to condemn Drudge for his effect on journalism, he got his break precisely because old media had already abandoned journalism for cronyism.

            Sure, he mixes a ton of tabloid "news" in with hard reporting, plus aggregates news from other sources, but we've seen that for decades too.

            Drudge is only noteworthy because he showed that a small time nobody can defeat the incestuous world of maintstream reporting, where the cocktail circuit is more important than keeping an eye on the powerful and educating readers. He started the trend of watching the watchers to keep them honest by reporting the things they wanted to bury.
            • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Monkey-Man2000 (603495) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:51PM (#33442074)

              I don't condemn Drudge at all! I congratulate him for putting "real" journalist's feet to the fire like Jon Stewart (oh the irony).

              My point is: how exactly is he different than Wikileaks? That's my point! He was famous for headlining the Monica Lewinsky scandal -- exposing abuse at the expense of the American interest. He's as much a journalist as anything Wikileaks exposes! Likewise, my hope is that Wikileaks will become a prime bookmark (maybe not homepage) for journalists in the future but the QUANTITY of novel information they have provided is unprecedented. But the "real" journalists still use these antiquated guys as critical tools for their "journalism" to lead their stories. Not much of an investigative journalism budget for MSM now-a-days.

              Again, non-wire, original journalism is NOT in the MSM. I think we can both agree on that, no matter what your views are (unless your the head of CNN/Fox/MSNBC)...

              Really, I think everyone in the US can agree that the MSM is shit and we need to finance independment (non-corporate) media. I know the tea parties have my back on that. Liberals would probably agree on that as well!. They would just have to STRICTLY restrict corporate financing.

              What would the world be like then?!

          • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:53PM (#33442082)

            All y'all obviously don't know the history of the news business. Vis. Randolph Hearst, or even more, the famous Tom Paine. The hypothesis of objective reporting has never been, and never will be, fact. ...
            Except for what I write. That's all objective truth! :)

        • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Threni (635302) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:09PM (#33441408)

          A lot longer than that, if you believe/read Chomsky. Challenging the wrong people is a career damaging move.

        • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CarpetShark (865376) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @05:43PM (#33442796)

          Just shy of 9 years ago by my count.

          It started long before the careless war reporting. It started at least as far back as when they started posting press releases as stories, without any validation. Maybe when they started reiterating smear campaigns without checking the reasons why the smear started.

          And the newspaper industry wonders why it's dying? Because anyone can mindlessly reiterate a press release.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        Sadly I'd say this is yet another one we can chalk up to those that scream "deregulation! Less Government!" getting what they asked for. There used to be laws that you couldn't own more than one per city, and a max of 28 I think, when it came to media like radio, TV, and print, to keep from one voice dominating. Of course once those laws were struck down what did we get? Clear Channel and mega monopolies.

        Sadly our media has become just as corrupted by the greed of the 1%ers (look up the tax rate during th

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zeek40 (1017978)
      Yes, they did. The current definition of journalism they appear to be working from is "Repeating whatever asanine behavior a celebrity or pseudo-celebrity has demonstrated for 24 hours a day until some other celeb/pseudo-celeb does something even dumber."
    • by roman_mir (125474)

      Loooong loooooooong time ago. I wouldn't say it's about W, it's much before that.

    • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Swarley (1795754) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:02PM (#33440394)

      They didn't forget. They all chose to pretend that it means something else. And by their definition, Wikileaks is most definitely not journalism. Wikileaks has never mentioned Lady Gaga even once! On a similar note, I highly recommend this from The Onion: http://www.theonion.com/video/time-announces-new-version-of-magazine-aimed-at-ad,17950/ [theonion.com]

    • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:05PM (#33440440)

      Journalism is doing what your corporate sponsors tell you to say.

      Keep the voters split and controllable by using hot point issues.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        if anyone tries to control me, i'll respond with my own soft point issues [ammunitiontogo.com].
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Darkness404 (1287218)
        And even that is laughable. Why is it that we can have a huge debate over "In God We Trust" on our currency, yet we don't have any real debates over what our currency actually is? Any real debate doesn't exist. Oh sure, we can argue about whether to increase this tax and decrease this tax, but the issue of why are we even taxed never gets brought up.

        Its really time the US has a political revolution. We need to stop looking at democracy and a republic as the end but rather think of them as starting point
    • "Journalism" today (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chicken_Kickers (1062164) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:14PM (#33440590)
      "Journalism" today is:
      • Present newsbites, not news
      • Present opinions, not facts
      • Never bite the hand that feeds you
      • Present infotainment, not information
      • Embedded propaganda operatives, not objective observers
      • There is no truth, only spin
      • The more biased the "news", the more eyeballs you get
      • by spidercoz (947220) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:26PM (#33440768) Journal
        and that's why the best news program on tv is a fucking comedy show, they don't hide it
        • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @05:40PM (#33442754)

          and that's why the best news program on tv is a fucking comedy show, they don't hide it

          Yes. It's also why, as an American myself, I get news about my own country from foreign sources. Generally Canada and the BBC, for the most part. "Freedom of the Press" has been re-interpreted to mean "we have the freedom to say whatever the FUCK we want and call it 'news' and you can't do a God damned thing about it, you sheep.'" And yes, it does piss me off that I get more reasoned, more accurate, more truthful information about my own country's political processes from news organizations in other nations. Yes, Mr. Murdoch, I'm talking about you, and those like you.

          Might as well just rescind the Freedom of the Press clause in the First Amendment. Not sure it's doing much good nowadays anyway, and so far as I'm concerned if you're just going to get up on that soundstage, in front of those cameras, and lie to me, you don't deserve the protections that Amendment affords you.

      • by tekrat (242117) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:47PM (#33442006) Homepage Journal

        You left out a really important one... "Copy anything off a well-known blog."

        This is what annoys me the most... They are claiming that Wikileaks doesn't deserve protection because it's not "journalism", and yet the mainstream press thinks journalism is "copy shit off the web with zero fact-checking". Just think about the woman who was fired because some blog re-cut her speech so she sounded racist. Did *anyone* check that before airing it? No.

        It's so easy to prank the media it's not even funny. All you have to do is put some story onto a well-trafficked-blog and five minutes later CNN is reporting it as news. And then it's in the paper the next day. I'd be willing to be a good amount that at least 10% of the news you read/hear/see each day is false, or at least substantially incorrect because no checking is done, it's just a race to scoop the other guy for ratings/readership.

        No wonder everyone believes Faux News/Glenn Beck. If you see it on TV, it must be true!

    • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:46PM (#33441032)

      How is what Wikileaks journalism? TFW says - Journalism is the investigation and reporting of events, issues, and trends to a broad audience.

      Wikileaks takes documents that are provided to them, often stolen and just throws them up on a website without investigation or reporting.

      They edited the video of the Apache so it'd fit their worldview. They are less journalistic than Drudge or Fark.

      • Re:LOLWUT? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @06:43PM (#33443570) Homepage

        Wikileaks takes documents that are provided to them, often stolen and just throws them up on a website without investigation or reporting.

        They do verify that the documents they get are legit before publishing them.

        They edited the video of the Apache so it'd fit their worldview.

        So first you want investigation and reporting, and when they do it you complain that they didn't just throw the unedited material on their website? Way to go logic. And oh btw. the unedited video has been available the whole time.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:52PM (#33440196) Homepage

    What does American law have to do with Wikileaks?

    • by metrometro (1092237) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:57PM (#33440288)

      Welcome the very, very messed up world of journalism law in the early 21st Century. Tech advances, the law plays catch up.

      Your reading list:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libel_tourism [wikipedia.org]

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2010/08/26/speech-act-now-a-law-big-win-for-libel-reform/ [discovermagazine.com]

      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:_V2BY9JufdkJ:immi.is/%3Fl%3Den%26p%3Dvision+immi.is&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a [googleusercontent.com]

    • It applies if Wikileaks has either people in the US or equipment, or if anyone from it's org wants to step foot on US soil.

    • by symes (835608)

      What does American law have to do with Wikileaks?

      I would imagine that being "foreign" may just mean a different kind of intervention becomes legitimate, which might be why Wikileaks resides in a bunker under a Swedish mountain

    • by Zeek40 (1017978) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:01PM (#33440364)
      US Politicians incorrectly believe that the US owns the entire internet.
      • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:08PM (#33440516) Homepage Journal

        US Politicians incorrectly believe that the US owns the entire internet.

        Actually, there is an acknowledged problem that "American interests" (i.e., US-registered corporations) own and operate a large fraction of the world's international cables, and almost all of the intercontinental cables. So it's easy for the US government to think of at least the "Internet backbone" as US property.

        The Internet might be a better place if this problem were fixed.

        Of course, the corporate world is slowly becoming a truly international culture that is independent of mere governments, so maybe the problem is being fixed. Whether this is an improvement isn't clear.

        • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:51PM (#33441114)
          Aside from a few Scandinavian countries, there really isn't anybody else I would trust with the internet. Hell, even Australia is doing censorship and filtering, so really the US if not the best possible nation to control the internet is in the top 10 in terms of keeping it free. If it were to come under UN or other significantly multilateral control, all the backward moralists would use their clout to create some international censorship and filtering scheme. Just look at the UN resolutions about blasphemy and whatnot to appease religious whackjobs. If the UN could apply shit like that to the internet it would. The US is not the perfect keeper of the internet, but it is better than almost any other likely alternative.
          • by ras (84108) <russell-slashdot@stuar t . id.au> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @10:01PM (#33445180) Homepage

            Hell, even Australia is doing censorship and filtering

            As an Australian I feel compelled to correct this.

            Certainly politicians have tried to get a filter implemented. In fact there have been a series of them. It started with Kim Beazly [wikipedia.org] (leader of the opposition at the time, who first made it ALP Policy [libertus.net], the ALP being the mob who ran the country for the last 3 years), then we had Kevin Rudd [wikipedia.org] (Prime Minster), Stephen Conroy [wikipedia.org] (Communications Minister), Brian Harradine [wikipedia.org] (independent who held the balance of power in the Senate), and Steve Fielding [wikipedia.org] (who saw himself as Harradine's successor) all pushed very hard for it. They were aided and abetted some the local elites, such as Clive Hamilton [wikipedia.org] (a Professor of Public Ethics and Vice-Chancellor's of Charles Sturt University) churning out papers in support of the filter. It is a truly impressive list of heavy hitters.

            Yet, they failed. Now the opposition has formally rejected the idea it looks dead and buried.

            For me it was a painful period in Australia's political history. Every time the issue was brought up on a forum that allowed public comments, the comments ran at about 20 to 1 against the idea. Regardless this mob tried to ram it though for 3 electoral cycles. Had they succeeded you could have truly said Australia democracy was doing a lousy job of representing the people doing the voting.

            But despite having their hands firm on the leavers of power and the public megaphones (no newspaper editorial outside of the tech industry strongly rejected the idea) they didn't succeed. I don't know whether this means Australia's hands are safer than the US's, as the US has a better constitution. But it certainly has given me a new found faith in Australian style democracy.

    • by jc42 (318812)

      Maybe what we need is to get get American law set up so that it protects local wikileaks servers that contain leaked docs from, say, Algeria or Iran or China or wherever, and deny extradition of wikileaks people to those countries. Meanwhile, we encourage those countries to set up similar laws that protect wikileaks servers in their domain from actions by the American government. Then we'd have the ideal situation, that every government could be proud of the job "our own" wikileaks subsidiary has done in

  • Journalism used to be about taking risks to bring critical public interest information to everyone, with a strong ethic and moral code. Now it seems that to most of the industry, it's about finding out what trouble Lindsay Lohan will get into next.
    • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:05PM (#33440442) Homepage

      Journalism used to be about taking risks to bring critical public interest information to everyone, with a strong ethic and moral code.

      On what planet? Here on earth journalism has always been about what will sell papers or garner eyeballs.
       
      I mean seriously, the drek quoted above gets posted and moderated 'insightful' every time a story about the media posted - but it is not now and never has been true.

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:50PM (#33441092)

        People do not study their history well, they learn maybe about major events, not about how people actually lived, and so they repeat bullshit over and over. As such a lot of people tend to be Neverwases. They look back to the good old days, where crime was low, people respected their elders, the press was honest and life was grand. You know, a past that never was.

        Yellow journalism has been the norm for a long time. There are publications that are better, and periods where things over all improve because of some inspiring people, but yellow journalism is the norm.

        But people don't study their history so things are always "getting worse." The press is "worse" now than ever (even though there is more independent journalism), crime is "worse" (though is has been trending down for like 4 decades), kids are lazy, people are stupid, music is bad, etc, etc, etc. All shit that more or less every generation has said and it has always been bullshit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nbauman (624611)

        Journalism used to be about taking risks to bring critical public interest information to everyone, with a strong ethic and moral code.

        On what planet?

        I am glad to see you approach journalism with skepticism, but the truth is somewhere in between (I hate that phrase).

        There always have been journalists who were willing to take risks to bring important information to the public. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Seldes [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.F._Stone [wikipedia.org] During the McCarthy days, there really were risks -- many people were blacklisted and unable to work, and quite a few were sent to jail for publishing unpopular ideas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Den [wikipedia.org]

    • by dangitman (862676) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:14PM (#33440596)

      Now it seems that to most of the industry, it's about finding out what trouble Lindsay Lohan will get into next.

      Well, technically that is actually journalism. Just not very useful journalism. I think you're looking at the past through rose-colored glasses. There has always been yellow journalism, gossip rags, propaganda sheets, etc. It's not like all journalism in the past was a noble effort to advance the public interest.

  • Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mike260 (224212) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:55PM (#33440250)

    ...do journalists need special bonus rights over and above the standard package?
    What is the problem to which this is the solution?

    • Re:Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:13PM (#33440586)

      Journalists are granted specific rights which others do not receive. For example, they have the right not to reveal the sources of their information. This is critical to their ability to report on sensitive issues where whistleblowers wish to remain anonymous. Other people can be forced to testify, so long as it isn't against themselves or their spouses, and be held in contempt of court if they refuse. There are other such rights, but I won't go through them all right now. The point is that this shield law is one such right.

      Journalists also have additional responsibilities to go along with this. For example, a journalist is expected not to reveal information that is a threat to national security, they are required to protect the identities of minors, and so on. Regular people don't have such restrictions, either.

      The logic here is that these are special privileges granted to journalists, and that bloggers and sites like wikileaks do not qualify for them. If everyone who puts up a post about what they had for lunch is suddenly a journalist, then everyone will have those privileges. But those privileges are not intended for everyone, and if everyone has them, they are going to get in the way. Then they are going to get taken away from everyone, including the real journalists.

      • Re:Why... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gknoy (899301) <gknoy@NospAm.anasazisystems.com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:32PM (#33440838)

        The logic here is that these are special privileges granted to journalists, and that bloggers and sites like wikileaks do not qualify for them. If everyone who puts up a post about what they had for lunch is suddenly a journalist, then everyone will have those privileges

        If, on the other hand, the blogger chooses to blog about local political corruption, or the abuses they witness commited by local police, why should they not be accorded the same priveleges and held to the same responsibilities? What differentitates someone who investigates for The Daily Rag from someone who investigates and publishes on his personal blog? How is a newspaper (or Time Magazine, or the WSJ) fundamentally different from a collective of bloggers who have organized to publish information on abuse, corruption, or wartime errors? (I'm not saying that Wikileaks is any of these.)

      • This.

        Wikileaks is not journalism. It has its value, certainly. In some ways it's complimentary to traditional journalism; in other ways it's essentially supplanted or usurped roles held by traditional journalism. But it's not the same thing.

        It has freedoms and advantages journalists don't; conversely, it's in our best interest as a society that journalists have some additional protections that the rest of us that aren't journalists don't need. Hell, dictionary.com publishes a lot of information/document

        • Re:Mod Parent Up. (Score:4, Insightful)

          by lennier (44736) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:41PM (#33441894) Homepage

          that doesn't mean that (insert name of person associated with political group or religious group that you dislike) won't create WhateverLeaks tomorrow and "leak" a bunch of bogus documents with the same freedoms.

          And that would be unthinkably worse-than-a-war horrible because...?

  • LOL (Score:4, Funny)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:56PM (#33440252) Homepage Journal

    Wouldn't it be nice if we had politicians who did what's right for once, rather than what's politically expedient?

    Yeah, and I want a pet unicorn, too.

  • I do believe that this would be unconstitutional since it would be singling out Wikileaks.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:56PM (#33440260) Homepage Journal

    If these protections - like being able to film cops at demonstrations - apply only to "accredited journalists" (or whatever you want to call them) then how long will it be before onerous demands are required to gain accreditation?

    I understand in some ways why they want to a closed shop and shut out bloggers and other herberts who they perceive as amateurs. But, so the proverb says, be careful what you ask for - you might just get it.

    • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@[ ]oo.com ['yah' in gap]> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:18PM (#33440650) Journal

      I'm not sure how you reconcile "free press" with the notion of having to apply for a permit to be a member of the press? It's a little like having freedom of religion, but you have to go register to be a member of one of a group of "approved" churches.

      • There's precident (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:39PM (#33440936)

        In many jurisdictions you require a permit to own a gun. You require additional tax stamps to purchase certain kinds of guns as well in all jurisdictions. This has been ruled to be ok per the second amendment. Regulating isn't restricting according to the court.

        Now perhaps you disagree, but then perhaps you disagree only in the case of speech. However you can see where this stuff starts sneaking in. When you start trying to do end runs around the Constitution in one area, it establishes precedent to do so in other areas.

      • by Toksyuryel (1641337) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:41PM (#33440956)
        There actually is a group of "approved" churches. Ones that are on that list are not subject to taxation, while the rest are.
        • by Trintech (1137007) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @05:56PM (#33442976)
          While this is certainly true, that list is more a matter of meeting the broad definition of religion and being non-profit rather than having to meet a focused set of criteria. For instance, there are many secular institutions on that list of 'approved churches'. This is only possible because there isn't a focused criteria of things like: must worship a god(s), must hold a worship service, etc that one must meet. If, to be a journalist, one only had to meet the definition of journalism (ie. the act of reporting news) then these two cases would be the same.
      • by CheshireCatCO (185193) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:13PM (#33441464) Homepage

        There's a difference between saying that you only get the protection if you're somehow accredited (whether it be by the government or by a separate, professional body) and saying you can or cannot publish stories at all. (As with free speech, you can publish what you want, but you may face consequences for publishing things, like libelous or classified material.)

        In the end, this would be a new protection that the constitution doesn't appear to already grant journalists, so it's hard to see that not extending it to everyone is necessarily unconstitutional.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Onerous demands are a good first step though. I don't like the idea that employees of a private corp have more rights than others just because they work for a particular corp that calls itself a news corp, do you?

      It's a slippery slope. Do we extend the privileges of police officers to private security firms next? Should we also extend privileges to private debt collectors? I'd rather nobody gets special rights.

  • Sickening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haffner (1349071) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:56PM (#33440264)
    Regardless of whether or not you support wikileaks, the method for taking one's rights is to first make a single exception that has some significant support, then follow it by expanding the law to include more and more exceptions, until finally some politician can say, "Well, how do we nail an *exception* masquerading as part of the general public?" and BAM, you have a new, inclusive restriction on your rights. The stable state of laws is always one of all or nothing. The moment you slip into in between, the law will move towards whichever end the government prefers. I don't get how the journalism doesn't understand that by making one exception, they lay the groundwork for more exceptions to be made, until eventually there is no source protection.
  • Ugh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gorzek (647352) <gorzek&gmail,com> on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:59PM (#33440328) Homepage Journal

    This is unfuckingbelievable. The so-called journalists offering up Wikileaks as a sacrificial lamb should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Which part is news? The fact that people, especially "people of business," tend to act in their self-interest, or that the leadership of gigantic news organizations are amoral "business" men and not idealistic journalists desperately fighting for the love of the first amendment?

  • by thewiz (24994) * on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:05PM (#33440432)

    Our "friends" at the newspapers like it when they're allowed to keep information from the public and then publish it for the sensationalism. To have someone else horn in on their territory is not to be accepted. In the last 20 years I've seen the "news" business go from fact driven reports to "newstainment". I'd rather read the information that Wikileaks puts on their website and make my own decisions based on the FACTS. Wikileaks is more of a journalist trying to put out the information they get so that we aren't keep in the dark by politicians, TV news monkeys, and the "We'll do whatever our government tells us to do" newspapers.

    Apologies for the rant; I just get a little P.O.ed when the big guys are trying to squish the little guys who are willing to show us what's really going on.

  • by Ossifer (703813) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:12PM (#33440558)
    Cancel your subscription, or stop buying the paper.... All seven of you...
  • by idontgno (624372) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:14PM (#33440588) Journal
    Woodward and Bernstein are declared "not journalists", "Deep Throat" is unmasked and secretly prosecuted, the Watergate Hotel remains just another uninteresting building in the District of Columbia, and Richard M. Nixon, after successfully driving to repeal the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, goes on to third and fourth presidential terms.
  • No no no. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by glrotate (300695) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:15PM (#33440600) Homepage

    The whole idea is flawed. There should be no special rights for journalists.

  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:25PM (#33440752) Journal

    From now on, the Comics Code will apply to all accredited news outlets with the force of law. Everybody else will be ordered to shut up.

  • by timster (32400) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:41PM (#33440958)

    Sort of funny to see someone write about how the "shield law" is "much needed" and complain that it won't apply to everyone in the same paragraph. The whole point of a "shield law" is to provide special rights for a limited set of people.

    For regular folks, if the cops have reason to believe that you know something about a crime, you'll get subpoenaed and required to testify, under penalty of perjury, potentially against your will. Journalists seem to think they ought to be exempt from the regular laws.

    You can't give everyone an exemption or they'll claim they were "reporting" when they drunkenly bragged that they knew who killed Mr. Body. That's the problem with the shield law idea.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by blair1q (305137)

      You have the right to a free press.

      Where did it say you have the right to aid and abet crime to develop your stories?

      You didn't. So you can be held in contempt, i.e., jailed while you refuse to reveal your accomplices/sources, for years, if the police think you got the story from a criminal.

      In lieu of a shield law we have a mish-mash of case law that may or may not be rational across jurisdictions and may or may not cover a general set of cases that have not yet occurred.

      Some people think this is a hole in

    • by lennier (44736) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:44PM (#33441934) Homepage

      You can't give everyone an exemption

      It would be almost like you had to give everyone a set of clearly enumerated rights, and that would take some kind of bill.

  • by mschaffer (97223) * on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:44PM (#33440990)

    Shame on the "journalists" for this. They obviously do not understand the principals they rely on.

  • Frankly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @04:11PM (#33441426)

    Wikileaks doesn't deserve source protection because 'it's not journalism.'"

          Considering what "journalism" has become, this is actually a compliment.

  • by toby (759) * on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @06:58PM (#33443694) Homepage Journal

    Then we can certainly do without whatever *is* called "journalism".

Programmers do it bit by bit.

Working...