Friday, July 30, 2010

Wikileaks Co-Founder: Media Reporting Failures Create Wikileaks Demand

Australia's The Age newspaper interviewed Daniel Schmitt, co-CEO of Wikileaks, who said mainstream media has become a coverup industry, instead crusaders for truth:
And by week's end, wonder was that the medium was perhaps the message, that while the thrust of the documents was hardly revelational, the high-tech disgorging of secret material might prove an increasingly popular method for airing grievances, exposing lies and cover-ups, and - yes, maybe - for keeping governments honest.

''I'm sure that we are changing the game here,'' coos Daniel Schmitt, a 32-year-old former IT security specialist from Berlin who, along with Australian Julian Assange, is the public face of WikiLeaks. ''Just look at the sheer amount of good leaks we've had in the past three years. The whole idea of automating the leaking process is changing the way that society works.''

Call it the democratisation of leaking: individual media groups were more inclined to keep custody of the information they were scrutinising, argues Schmitt, [but] ''we publish the documents in full''.

''A source wants the maximum impact of their revelations. They want to change something. If they go to a newspaper, the newspaper will keep it secret and not share it with different papers to work further on the information. That is why sources mainly come to us. When we publish something, everyone can write a story about it.''