Reporters' Roundtable: Journalism in the age of WikileaksSix journalists debate the effects of Wikileaks and anonymous document publishing on the nature of professional reporting.
Primary human welcome to a special edition of reporters' roundtable. On today's show CNET chief political correspondent that -- call host -- panel discussion on journalism in the age of WikiLeaks. Sponsored by Society of Professional Journalists of northern California. This discussion covers how WikiLeaks is forcing editors and reporters to rethink traditional journalistic practices. For example the New York Times the guardian under Spiegel were given a mere three weeks to decide how to handle over 90000. Confidential documents on Afghanistan. Join us as we discussed the challenges journalists -- given such information and consider the question of the role professional news organizations. When anyone can publish the kind of information that previously was only the purview of established news organizations. We have a great panel of six journalists in this discussion including reporters and editors from San Francisco chronicle wired and -- company. Enjoyed a special edition of reporters' roundtable. We have a great lineup. Says -- one who introduce himself chief political correspondent for CNET who's been covering WikiLeaks. Since the beginning in the beginning was long before last year so -- tough -- about their origins. Key Amy -- atom is from San Francisco chronicle. Evan Hansen editor in chief of wired dot com also has been covering WikiLeaks for a good long while. Jalal Ghazi who is the former producer of mosaic TV which was the Peabody award is sorry is the Peabody award winning program. Covering -- in the Middle East com and coming covering news from the Middle East via at least in media. And now he is Middle East analyst for -- American Media. And Burt Herman who is the founder -- and hackers and also am the co-founder founder of a technology start up -- for journalism club store and you're familiar with that Anchorage you to check it out. That the -- -- to report on what's going on the world. And before we get into questions and discussions just to remind every one. Through the sequence of events that happened last year because there were a few different document dumps. It WikiLeaks did and I think that sometimes -- are completing them and and and and forget what happened land so. Some. Wiki Wiki leaks sort of early in -- in the spring posted that video online of some US military helicopters firing in Baghdad. And in Nat incidents. 21 or two Reuters correspondents were were killed. And -- that was the first time they really sort of made a splash on a national consciousness. And then they got. Really hugely known. With the Afghan war logs Afghanistan -- -- switch that was when me. Collaborated with the New York Times the guardians and -- Spiegel to -- 90000. Military reports. -- it had previously been confidential. Some and then in October. Was one the Iraq War logs. Were released again collaborating with mainstream media. Who prepared reports on on the news. And -- is 390000. Documents reports. And then in November was when cable -- happens -- -- call that's when. WikiLeaks. Had released some diplomatic cables. And -- and that there's confusion around mount one because the number 250000 gets bandied about -- From what I understand and and and evident -- natural cracked -- at this wrong but. -- WikiLeaks is in possession. For allegedly 250000 documents but actually only a few thousand of those have actually made them out and public. And part of that if Anderson correctly it was because. Of concerns about how the previous stunts have taken place. Am still. Before we start talking about journalism. And how WikiLeaks is impacted it. -- which you just walk us through a little bit about through Wiki WikiLeaks history and how we got two left here. I'm sure WikiLeaks launched in January 2 -- -- 20099. But roots and history go back the long before that. It really grew out of the cipher -- mailing list and moved from more broadly the cyberpunk movement of the 1990s this. Who was of course of play on the words cyberpunk a -- -- punk and meaning cryptography. Key encryption that data scrambling now that technology. And I ran into Julian Assange when he was on of this mailing list in the probably 1996. Or thereabouts and -- he was. Interest in two things at the time. Now the first was building encrypt. Building stronger cools -- to communicate anonymously and communicate securely. Billing and encrypted file system for instance which was pretty far ahead ahead of the state of the art at the time including -- and -- -- file system and -- you -- -- couldn't be forced to -- -- -- pass -- Now because there is no proof that the data actually just it was from a morals republic in the cloud of -- with others on your hard drive. And I -- also -- I remember interest in doing. I think the organizing physical protest actually taking -- but it would announce a direct action against. -- -- this -- situation -- the most was the purchase time college in and he was organizing. Actual a marching down the street and protest the church assigned quality was -- especially religious who's doing this because at that time. Asked Erica I'm ninety. 59697. -- has signed apology was engaged -- numbers are pretty. A concerted efforts to restrict -- what a lot of folks the time I was free speech on the Internet. So that it was basically pro free speech am as opposed to anti psychology -- campaign. As the but the eight but the risk the serpents -- -- in this this two data liberation movement to go back even further. Two -- -- Tim made who is a retired Intel engineer. -- and a few friends in the late 1980s. And started talking about how these wonderful new technologies so that photographers like the -- home. The inventor of modern digital cash pioneered and how they can be used essentially -- the nation state and at how would they if they can be used to distribute documents securely. How digital -- -- to buy these documents and create a market for leaked documents sound and their idea back then I determined they used was black -- was to do all anonymously in this was actually the original idea of WikiLeaks and eminent not to have a front man. I'm because if you a front -- all the sudden you can get X rated you can. I get investigated by the US government confidential espionage charges and you can be thrown in jail either anonymously as is possible. I you don't really have that much of an issue with some new technology works that's probably enough background and Washington's authority of. So one thing I forgot to mention the beginning if if if you are tweeting hash tag for today is MXP today Wiki it's BJ WI KI. And -- the Twitter handles of the folks who are speaking tonight are. So I am. And then next to me -- is DEC LA and am so that -- them. Key is kind Eleanor which -- C a IL LD EMI. LL and ER. -- -- is at an -- wired so that acts -- -- AT. Some -- is Burt Herman. EU RT HER and man. Jalal is Ghazi SF that's GH a ZISF. And that's it. So am. One of the questions we had when we were putting this together was. When WikiLeaks approached. And the guardian and in the New York Times and ash -- they sort of up ended the way. -- traditionally been done and journalism. Come in and ten years ago if an organization like WikiLeaks had a bunch of documents that would come to an organization -- times the Washington Post. And there are times -- -- disintegrate in hand them over animal will take a look at them and they live in and taken them. A good long while -- -- go through everything in line at their ducks and do reporting and decide what they thought the right angles where. And indeed I think and in our introduction. To this panel we talked about one of them -- though Washington Post reports recently which they took two years to do. But I am what happened -- of WikiLeaks was the song is basically say here -- got three U that are -- headstart but were going to be posting them so one thing the Internet has done is it's. It's given that printing press to anybody and everybody. So the question is you know does this -- journalism does this mean that we are no longer able to do our job. The -- we think it should be done. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I don't think it does spurred the simple reason that we can leak and don't relevant information but most people have. Jobs and families and other interest and not -- Who -- going through the Internet. If anything in earnest on -- -- and -- people still really want some sort of -- some sort of help -- -- information you have a huge flood of information. Isn't so much you can -- -- you sound so. In the case of something like WikiLeaks. Believe the stats on people who actually -- -- -- the site and actually looked all the documents was. Miniscule it wasn't that big most people were reading the New York Times the guardian for -- -- or. And in the most recent case -- -- the New York Times from his country felt. I'm. I think most newspapers have been using WikiLeaks more as a source. Hands. That's appropriate I mean I think it's wonderful that they can publish it on their own and if they wanna do that you educated them that's great but. I I just can't imagine that the vast majority of people out there and spend most of their time looking through. All of those cables. I think it ends it exclusivity. -- An interesting thing when you have. Different countries. Sort of the -- of different sort of national and that's what analyzes documents. York times -- you have when they out of the garden for -- and have a different one there's people in Germany it took simultaneously patents. Sort of critical assessment of documents -- people are basically. Judging the value in and create priorities and and showing you their news -- that. I mean it in a traditional kind of leak or a source relationship. Source belonged -- the papers -- Exclusive relationship there and take your time and not yet -- -- to. And there's a huge hunger for original documentation. I think that in the side -- idea won't know if that's -- an analysis. Changes things up. -- is a benefit for journalists because basically you're playing. Within that now you've gotta have all of your material is -- to be fact checked. There are people who are -- the test with this information as journalists and will comb through it find things. There were overlooked in second -- the news agenda of the pros and I think if that hunger for original documentation. Then when you basically release. Documents simultaneously to multiple outlets. It really -- comparative now that. -- political agendas that where the political in this but the land through which the editorial weapons which -- -- -- -- -- -- -- period. I think that is great for -- the hanging. In case become an Arabic media. And and in in case of an -- -- are affected its positive thing. For one and you know and -- -- And it had this flood of information. And -- you know what to do with -- Find some. Legitimate explanations and analysis -- -- when today funeral of investigative journalism in -- And in cooperation with them for ten weeks -- analyzed all the files. Pertaining to Iraq. And it came with conclusions that where that we -- very profound and according to use unity forced him. The information they came -- wouldn't force the body count web -- to increase. The number of Iraqi casualties up 50% from one -- from 108000. I mean if -- -- And also. As far as. You know what can argue that -- torturing for example is isolated. And no -- -- -- that. In the United States. Intelligence officers and soldiers -- know about it because it was about I don't wanna see the number but huge number over a thousand. All -- to children in some cases sexual abuse and you rate. And these were -- to senior. Well vision and seasonal -- on the line so this was on and that might use you don't incorporation when -- cannot academic institution. And wounded another way you could change. If it's damaged a model. And I agree with you when you -- -- hunger for information for -- -- unity established now when they -- the transparency. And it can invite people. To supply them with the information and leaks. And and the Palestinian papers and what went actually leaked it -- we can -- media would actually provided -- -- you to. That shows you want to do -- talked briefly met with the Palestinian papers are okay these basically. Documents about how the negotiations were we're going between the Palestinian Authority and the chief negotiators -- -- caught. Will that with the Israeli officials and American officials and of course -- the color of the Palestinian Authority. It was -- releasing what they wanted when they wanted and also claiming there perspective but when you have. -- he supports -- available to Al-Jazeera and made available to the people in the same manner that WikiLeaks made available all that the information. It's tremendous and mean to -- academic institutions individuals and institutions and also to to meet itself. And then they ultimately force their chief negotiator assignment ought to resign. Any thoughts about. It off track the question. Fair numbers that. Does it does it imperiled journalism if you know -- sort of being held up as WikiLeaks -- and -- anything at three weeks in them and then we're going live. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Now vital role to help sift through all this. All this material on line and that hasn't changed even more important especially with something like this where -- -- you have to consider what -- it was it and they hear of WikiLeaks what are they trying to do mean a like this say that they should be treated as a news source and and -- that it's sixty minutes interview area that we should have the -- And and the right of freedom of the press and freedom of expression and anybody else which is fine but that -- -- -- -- Quote unquote objectives -- -- and I think. Journalists are needed about this because it -- -- what's accurate and that. Went all the journalists -- -- that time I mean that's the primary source if you the that's what you have -- and then work if yeah that's. And if it's clearly valuable material that people need to know about and I. But like a three week means you have stopped work -- In the beginning if you had start it going but. Now the food chain so it really. Indeed happen. But we were talking earlier before about crowd sourcing it here -- -- and that's if people are out there well I'll sit there and I mean I wonder. -- -- -- -- doesn't wanna be released things just put them all out there and have everybody report on them because he knows the way journalists bank and that they want if it is -- -- if it's just something that everybody pat. He's specifically gaming journalist finds that by giving people what missive in order -- And scarcity it and get a bigger bump out of that it yet it would be. I mean if if you did not do that without their interest -- -- what happened with these documents whether people would care as much. -- suit was attending into that one does it change our notion of what -- is a mean historically it's -- about a scoop as -- first I have material nobody else has. But now the stuff is out there is they're still possibility to get a scoop within this material. -- -- Yeah what mean I think its its noticing -- putting -- in context in -- here's the fact that there's -- the perception. And -- -- things like that or editor of CNET news. It's -- to perception a thicker ballot that's like and in -- it's. Understanding the the context and import of information and and when you look at the different ways that departure with the -- it's treated. That -- that data if certain people focusing on certain sets of facts and think this is important is the important part. -- somebody else and say and I think. There's so much of that such a -- there. The people who -- interesting insights in natural data and get it get there first for articulated in the most. It's like or work. -- packed -- way or can it get. That the whole point of this group is that you're getting attention for your ideas or so. And that even in it may be even more so when. Finding stuff that would sort out it -- sites. It's equally. -- -- -- -- I just thought it was interesting -- and this most recent trove of documents. WikiLeaks didn't want to give it to the New York Times. Originally there was some issue between the songs and Bill Keller thinks so they gave the documents regarding the regarding -- them. So they both sort of came out with -- story to -- things. I'm not sure that there's anything profound enough but it just wouldn't believe that having scoop on this particular story wasn't as important maybe you wouldn't -- -- pentagon papers. Speaking -- collaboration. What things that when I was reading bill colors piece on on how they dealt with WikiLeaks which was in the magazine I think allowed back. If I ever -- correctly if I get this on please please correct -- but it when you sort of a first set of documents Afghanistan documents he's -- he said that. We considered a separate person guardian and then the guardian has -- -- -- ten to one -- on this. But it sounds -- when they actually we're going through the documents. They were doing so independently so wasn't as if near times and guardian and -- Spiegel were working together to figure out was in the document they -- they were literally going through them independently. And I found that surprising because of what you are saying -- -- of -- -- -- of perception because there were so many documents. And palm it it seamlessly it would have made sense for them -- -- share the load of figuring out what was there. Am I guess a for the question is is did you ever -- -- correctly and and -- us have a different not on on that aspect of. Well other folks might have more info but part of this is also what the WikiLeaks says. And what the news organizations -- because WikiLeaks and Julian Assange there. Especially -- right now Assange is looking for legitimacy. And one way to do that is -- to call repeatedly at every possible opportunity news organizations partners. All the news organizations are pushing back against this and saying no which -- a source maybe one week. Treat -- with a source on the last and so this is. That dispute about what happened and whether that is organizations are working together in concert with WikiLeaks. Depends in part. And which version of the story you believe -- what one thing that was interesting about. The New York Times -- magazine piece that are very long if he's. Is that as they make kind of -- through which -- under the bus mean WikiLeaks approached them was. Opera probably difficult to work with but in the end give them very valuable information that they did not -- give to say the Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post -- in the New York Times. Do -- well. Avidly pro -- -- -- in their that they wouldn't have. If they had joined skipping on the sidewalk. The made him a look a little silly that they wouldn't have they still have that same close relationship. Com. I would say this that this school is probably not as important after this flood of information was. And available as much as making sense of this information. I mean in the United States you can access. All this information and the problem is what does it mean and what this -- -- you try to do. And you're right to save it that for example the conclusions. On that for example when we talk about Iraqi. And -- secret files. We're different that that is the conclusion the riesling at times there's is it -- -- But he looked forward for us for readers it's really good to have these different perspective and what does it mean. When he's when he's these files means -- so. Also would argue that the data -- you would influence much more than United States. You know four the United States aside from covering these files. There isn't much change in the way they cover issues but I would say in case of our media. And unity and we have to see just Coble thinks about -- at me again how it's different -- -- states. You know here we have for the most part -- commercial media and -- driven by decisions have to do with how much money has to be made by the end of the day. And with commercials and news but in arable menu meant my plan -- of this televisions are state sponsored. And indicates -- -- united illegitimacy. -- of the station needs the urgency of this state that sponsors just. And and its its -- Jazeera it became a -- with television because. Providing quality news meant that establishing the legitimacy. So when WikiLeaks came out of this flood of information a disease couldn't stand back and doing. So they were -- in a week to take decision stake a position. And so I could imagine digitally -- how can you know. The argument was how can we not take a leading role with this flood of information and is probably when he took them. But. I also wanna criticizing just for example when it came to the United States diplomatic cables. They do not take a leading. You know -- just. Have. Translated for the most parts. Some of that article so -- -- -- of times as far as. Some are -- leaders and being as being threatened more by in -- is -- And that has to do because they don't wanna put that little -- -- an awkward position because some of the -- dealt with his relationship with Israel. But having said that you know Jazeera has done an outstanding job but it has its once -- just like American Media. But for the overall -- WikiLeaks release and a principal I think it's tremendously inefficient. Am. Does. Does the fact that WikiLeaks is publishing on the stuff themselves. Change how we as journalists think about privacy and security. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Whether publishing this piece of information that -- of information is Clinton -- somebody. -- Now that all that is out there. It doesn't change how we think about what we put in our stories. Well yeah I think. I hope it changes and things about it that -- be. Understand that there are. They're back that -- that serve the public interest -- That there are -- that put people in danger. Think that are. Better better about -- that you are bit of the eight are you happy with the -- -- Thank. -- -- -- -- -- Fight over whether we should disclose more. Original document that we -- or about WikiLeaks. The -- -- of -- and it. We we got a hold of catwalk. Between. Ending in. It in Lenovo in. You know at it and journalists were caught. If there's but there are ethical restrictions on. -- the content it -- make public you wait you have to balance the the information value of the public interest value of information sources are like -- individual. And -- this if -- kind of decisions you make on a daily basis. In. I don't know the changes and it is when you have that access view you have to treat it responsibly and you make that's going. And but -- -- -- welcome back -- -- was actually my editor here. At CNET Durham and you've got -- wired dot com has have been attacked -- by I'm in some circles for not releasing. The full unedited and unabridged. Transcripts. Of that the alleged chats but the -- that Bradley demanding had with atrium. And I'm. -- Bradley demanding as the alleged source. Four. Four WikiLeaks. Army private and now facing a very long stay in club fed and -- -- there's -- but but without the without going into demanding the situation which would be an entire panel. What -- got the got the scoop about a year ago. And evade the published. For probably more like -- April many of of last year. And -- but they -- they published only excerpted excerpts of these. Transcripts. That -- Bradley mammy in which Bradley mini allegedly can Imus initially confessed I am from -- -- leaking eccentric. Well why am why not release the entirety right now here tonight. Because -- with that there's and we've written extensively about its underwent -- and anybody's wildest. Would know it instantly that we've looked at that those that bog. And there's elements of -- which we do not leave at any of the story and it could damage somebody first added the but does it at all but that -- are ready -- out. Means that it's been well reported Ian Coulter wrote a column. So. Why not. That's our decision to make and I think we need to like follow our own that the that the and at that. -- -- -- -- They're like -- few people believe that there is when it god given right to original documentation. If you network -- but workers here at the original documentation. On its way -- -- room. I don't think that it of all -- making -- that this. We made that calling him. So different angle on this. There's been a huge amount -- and -- -- journalism community. Is WikiLeaks a journalism organization or not and I'm not gonna pose that question because I feel like it's been beaten to death. -- but I think the interesting question which people are still wrangling and is. To what degree should -- and organizations. Defend WikiLeaks the rights to publish what they're publishing separate from what we would do with the documents just. As as they the organization is under fire as as. Even today as you -- probably heard the news is that in in England they decided that that -- science can be extradited to Sweden and that potentially has a whole bunch of downstream effects in terms of -- installations with the United States and what may happen after he gets there. So the question I think becomes let's stand -- journalism take about whether WikiLeaks has a right to publish this information or not. I mean they they they fixed their original mistake when that -- the names. Pertaining to the enough. Leaks. -- when it came to Iraq and also to the United States diplomatic cables and they withheld the names. And so they try to do that but I believe that invented. You know. An argument should be about. Whether. -- WikiLeaks has a right to take humane -- That is. I mean you could say it's selfish reasons but you could also argue that it's some of -- -- have to do with. Actual opposition to torture actual -- position to. To what -- view illegal invasion of Iraq. So does that we can leak residences and as institution as a right to due to do -- -- views as moral. And you know. I was talking you know whether. For example what we see that now the uprisings in the Middle East has to do with geek geeks nobody can say that -- there's a direct correlation. But I would say. You know elect Assange says miscarriages contagious. You know ways to win he did that and his unit does something similar. And then also establish some sort of global sense of community you know for example when the Tunisian uprising started. And then Ali then ousted president of -- decided to have to censorship all the WikiLeaks related material because they -- to his. Corruption and so on and this sort of awakened and then global activists anonymous the ones went after PayPal MasterCard and these. And the -- to help in the local Tunisian activist. And it would giving them how to avoid the authorities which went after them and -- many with pages and noticed that many of them. And another. So you could say it it it it. Doesn't have to do all we would journalism -- -- -- -- humanity. And and ethical values so the argument should olds that question should also be is what Assange and WikiLeaks did. Moral or not more. -- only as a journalist equivalent -- Premium ordinarily in into the journalism at community we know we probably -- -- be faced with these questions. Not her in the not too far distant future you know if -- science doesn't actually get brought to the United States. I am. You know I guess -- Mac to an additional -- -- should be so we stand up -- filed briefs in supporting their right to publish what they did or should we not mean and. -- the right to some -- the back -- a moment. There is. I'm a First -- -- -- I know from discussions that Evan is this while he sits on the board of the relevant organization in fact as though. And so obvious surprisingly weren't but -- is it is it's interesting. Choices that journalists have -- you have come out in support of if WikiLeaks in the same way that we might if this of the New York Times is the subject of an espionage probe which appears to be what's going on here -- what is it. Justice Department has these court orders for information about. A Twitter accounts tied to WikiLeaks. That there are two reasons -- -- -- -- here I think in the first is that I am the join us on is not very sympathetic. I character -- in some ways the fact that he is. The sense that there's some laughter. -- have but that it really shouldn't matter means it just said is it different terms -- for the first and principles are fraternal pretzels we can defend. By we have increased beach community -- marking Skokie. We -- answers from -- defend someone is much less objectionable. This the but the second point is more interesting in that as we don't know -- all the facts are and we don't know what. I'd join us on to other members of WikiLeaks did in these conversations that allegedly happened with Bradley -- did they actually cross the line and say oh -- here's how to bypass the military system. I suspect that didn't happen but if it did that them -- comes closer to conspiracy to break the law. -- participate or known him for crimes committed. And we three dollars and of these rules it. As journalists so I mean in so far as those lines were crossed and incentive for. -- about. In I would defend -- was right public. The -- Democrat's amendment of an -- -- with Amazon that ill -- have Adam. Lots of great thoughts you either want to ask or share you know it when we come to questions that he does have went to view -- -- please don't feel like it has had a customer command. -- -- crest analyst -- yes so after the Iraq documents came out. Ivy. -- emails I think was -- and one of the news organizations it was publishing them and I asked them. -- -- you have 250000 -- 490000. Government in the Iraq documents. Do you guys use an -- -- did you write any scripts -- computer scripts are using programs to sift through that and try to find. Try to find interesting insights through digital means as opposed to literally just sitting down and his human going through -- one. And I was really surprised when the email back and they said now essentially they'd be and they didn't write any spam sent to to to go to the the material. And it's I so -- to open -- the conversation to the question of in its teen age when. Especially sitting here in Silicon Valley and lower -- ground zero for attack and there's all sorts of advances being made in -- semantic analysis and tools to do semantic analysis of unstructured data. And it's we have been an emerging collaboration with with with hackers. Is. Can we imagine. A different way of again a different way of doing journalists -- if we assume that. WikiLeaks is not gonna the only organization. Gathering documents and leaking them in such large numbers and am -- the New York Times allegedly is opening its own little door for essentially there's a Jazeera hadn't known but it is they're doing the same thing. Am you -- -- -- -- on the situation again going forward of in -- tens of thousands of of documents. Am is there a -- either -- technology to do some of that initial scoping for us or in a crowd sourcing or collaborations. How how -- we tackle a world in -- in. This becomes. Not uncommon. The crowd sourcing right now is -- better than. Automated text analysis. And you look at -- -- memo and that's like that that it already used to step in the way it. It's been pretty well it's -- execute it have a good community -- of smart people in parts out so that analysis or is that the betting of those documents -- -- -- that its battery. And then there's that's what route by -- -- -- -- I don't really see any actual announcement maybe Rupert. Well I mean look Watson has just one jeopardy right I mean that as technology has come. Where all if he passes. -- -- are. Answered. But there how many total at the -- department. Union and the question I think yeah I mean again with all this is the best it's combining both things. I guess -- -- advances. Singularity. Where computers uncharted human drive and they have so for now it. It makes sense I think for massive data news that try to use some kind -- if that there also have people to insert name. I think what you what you're saying that's cute that are out there in plain sight I mean right now we're drowning -- the Obama administration -- old data. Initiative have -- dot governor putting all this that'll -- online and they're actually. Wondering why why are journalists doing more that we actually ask them -- people. In the administration that they were trying to encourage journalists like look at this find stories and it what's there. San Francisco also -- little local data initiative that we know with. And journalism community here who's looking at that that I mean companies through the line plane's flight for people think that. In whatever tools -- out there people. -- -- And that and it part of things it. We're we're stacked and hackers if it's getting people together and thinking creatively. If the probably work in progress through. -- it would help with the wear them to work if they are are run through. We're. Director interactive operations from Associated Press was -- last week and they are doing that. And they're ready script just for that he should be a beta of it it. A -- for large document dumps. To -- contextual. Sifting. And it's it's -- testing program -- it actually shows in three dimensional. He actually did out of the -- the -- is on them. A military force in Iraq. So yeah fascinating stuff so it's it is happy probably yours -- -- I think this is when journalists has to partnership with academia. I mean in my NASA program -- -- -- state university. A professor from listeners enjoy and energy units are looking at flipped when -- -- is basically. Have. You know many many events just like that of -- was -- about WikiLeaks and trying to have. As systematic way to two to -- nice patterns in a in an academically and established. So and I don't -- the journalists and their tools are capable. Of this flip to to make any sense of -- of this data and now we're seeing a lot of contradictory. And reports and stories in the -- this means this especially if you compare it for example American -- nurses Arabic means so so. I think that we're being overwhelmed. With this flood of data and and that we don't have any tools and news I've learned a lot -- about what he was the green state university and -- an easy it's not pretty easy to to create computer programs to make sense of of a flood of data. But I think 11 that has to do with organizing them and making them accessible. -- integrity by country might issues and so on just like WikiLeaks have tried to do. Let me bring them link to you for the sake of the recording. I think you two part question maybe the first preference echlin and then the second -- program announcement. He said initially they considered anonymity. Within WikiLeaks or -- with the documents can you explain why. That didn't can sit continue forward -- Assange became the figure and then. If it had been anonymous or much more anonymous that wasn't -- polarizing figure. Like the like Assange how do you think that the reaction would have been different. One might short that -- and answer the first question is. That it. If you look at the original discussions. Around the WikiLeaks and the some of the emails have leaked. John Young was one of the I was the person who leak them I -- to the Q&A with him -- you can see it on -- CNET ram probably lasted July Chinese and New York based architect. And of them. The of the initial idea was that you'd have them with this would have sort of regional. Of people. Two coordinators by. And geographic area East Coast West Coast Australia so on and Julian was an Australian coordinator -- or call properly. And but but it would be of this collaboration of mathematicians. And academics and human rights activists and I -- without any. Well I'm. The person who was the figure had who -- was the visible spokesmen -- leader. And that it changed over time it probably helped and hurt WikiLeaks but -- it it helped. Them. Get more publicity. It helped them get morning recognition because Julian Assange is a colorful figure them. I did -- this is says someone who's -- hacker who it was very interesting personality and so on. That the flip side is it also led to. I'm people Obama basically adult leaving WikiLeaks. As a result we've we've -- -- -- -- -- out last week as a result I'm there there are now. We do its competitors that have arisen because -- has a very porous and personality. And so I -- a bit of both helped and hurt him but it but it is -- this has -- this this trend ever since the -- them only from this group of anonymous. This collective to this singular person. Can -- -- -- an amenity thing because. I can't imagine that news organizations and be as comfortable working with WikiLeaks in terms of their source and if they didn't know who was behind us -- -- you can't. You can't just published all the stuff that you don't know who it's coming from and -- and you we don't know the WikiLeaks source now that's. Well I mean you. If you have a little -- -- anonymous stuff on the Internet isn't news organization and certainly we covered. I mean avenues organizations -- that the show it people who might. I am gonna mention else. The -- effort through that I think it's really important I mean if you go back couple years when WikiLeaks was actually getting a lot of very important in. World changing documents for people in places like. Not really well written if people really we're paying attention and there was a time when WikiLeaks organizers we're actually putting up. Notices on their website basically that we don't know what -- we have only documents. -- be looking at them -- recruit expert analyze excellent. Running out of money we may be -- try to sell this stuff that's exclusive the newspapers to fund our operations. -- that a period when there were still getting its listing documents that they were really really part time recruiting for. And I think that -- -- John -- and for. Here's the guy's been dealing in exactly the thing I'm -- -- publishing. For quite awhile. It's really interesting stuff. If people -- for them through its. It's it's not exactly front page news and I think that that what you get with a personality. If you get a feel good marketing operation if the CEO and paper and say hey we have this stuff with negotiate. -- Meaning it's someone who -- lawsuit threats with newspapers as well I mean there is that that is -- -- -- -- -- but I think what they were anything before with the -- But they also didn't have the less demanding alleged files I mean if he -- documents about Kenya looking into -- -- interesting but it's not going to be front -- -- -- New York Times through one week. At a time I mean they had at the State Department files back then. The -- -- would have been different. Yeah and again what it would it have if it was just out there and leave to everybody having this is part of the salesmanship creating scarcity getting people bargaining for exclusive I -- -- if you just dump all that stuff out there. But it. We don't -- them have. Name any name is expected something that you guys are saying before acting part where you are saying casino with -- data coming out of that. He'd have -- government may be the federal government -- leak their public data to WikiLeaks and look at recovers. Thank you I just like utility different. -- right now. Assange has lost his. Bid to. -- assist expedition. So let's assume that -- convict him of the two sex crimes since he's accused -- and let's suppose a lot of other people anywhere. Perceive that as -- its. Attempt to silence. Julian Assange is that it's at a reasonable assumption. Secondly if it isn't reasonable ascension assumption. How much will other governments follow suit in trying to put the kibosh on. The energy. Behind. -- -- information through leaks. Thank -- Well I think it's possibly could have a revolutionary. Technologist -- Created enormous transparency around governments. In the world changing at a moment in also the guilty of other crime and I don't think you get a free pass. Those crimes I think -- -- would be if it a fair trial and transparency the process. And. Well it's inevitable that some people are. Whether it's persuasive to. The world at large the thing but I. They can speculate what would happen. -- Well there if you look at the court decision today's event the -- in London issued its side 28 pages and the I'm actually the last -- -- talks about. Julian being answered to the US much of this is exactly responsive to your question but it says that. I that if he is surrendered just to Sweden Simon after the appeals are exhausted and if they actually happens and I'm he hopes that that the that the secretary of state in the US editors it would follow proper procedures and it wouldn't just -- -- slam dunk but this is a judge. This is this is as it -- saying what he hopes is the case I was almost. Plant a flag. And pull and hope people remember as a possessing this will be a case for -- launches in Sweden. -- -- -- I can -- can speak about the other part the question which is. What if other -- an article in question correctly when -- -- -- governments try to do the same thing that needs I think that's not possible anymore. I mean this is being shown in Egypt and Tunisia. And they tried they do which you know that we -- is cut Internet access but then people would find different twist to standard. And before they would it was limited to. And state sponsored television but now with a -- -- television foreign Arab and social media I mean you we're seeing a soldier. You know hitting someone in a remote village in Tunisia. And you meant you were seen instantly in YouTube and FaceBook. So I don't know if anybody could censor anything at this point and I don't know anything is could be cities it was a theme of funny -- -- that and an Arabic. Newspaper in which Arab diplomats were talking. And with US officials. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So this is the new -- after we really nothing could be. Confidential. That's overstating the case I mean -- but I'm not one top secret document was leaked as part of WikiLeaks write them I mean there's plenty of stuff that's confidential. There's plenty of -- I'm. That news organizations -- confidential time I mean. -- -- that it would just to do and there's no evidence that WikiLeaks is even a little able to continue. These little these leaks I mean that this is they've they've published everything demanding that allegedly gave them on so maybe this is a one time thing. I mean isn't that posting papers that is that papers about -- -- between Israel Palestinians. And then it and this is just the beginning. And and and and in. I mean and it's very empowering information very empowering. And mean it -- now as we've seen these demonstrations in example. At -- -- -- and other media will publish things from WikiLeaks. To establish the -- for example the fact that Kibaki and his family allegedly have 150 million. Enough to feed the entire population but you know and and and where this money coming from. And the fact that you know the saying at the same with news leaked of similar week reports. In before he could argue the delegitimize Arab leaders and the maintenance -- reflect -- ripe fruit to fall down. You know not that that the population already didn't -- and did not. Didn't respect him and all the which needed but the -- is is just it's one thing when you. -- something maybe maybe not but another thing when it's leaked from -- cables. And establish something. -- -- Well now this notion that this is third street is. If you look at sort of the technologies that enable the release of this information which are incredibly. Low friction. That we change the bar for distribution that this data but at the end of the day you're talking about somebody who have moral wall. Embedded in its side or have access information which. I think that people have -- and -- Moral crisis where they're like running their responsibilities. To the state and there and ship -- The moral responsibility to the world are. -- I think anybody who who believe absolutely that there -- an -- he. -- -- yourself in the boat somebody's. What do basically -- these documents which you feel -- -- thank goodness they're gonna be anonymous if technologies that it with -- here. Hello I meant I'd probably goes along with that. And we -- with Bradley banning these this desire to hear that that's -- of the extremely hot. -- under it and called -- jeopardize their own anonymity when they have no. There's no -- when that. -- the psychological pressure and I think people in those situations. We're relying on cement its victories or they. Currently we -- -- people and -- -- -- everything mr. Stories yet. We are are primarily from. People who have -- information hears stories with. And you wonder why -- they don't there's opted not a lot in it for but yet -- -- that are for people community care. And we that's what we -- -- And at the -- -- the -- were talking about people who are making a moral decisions -- personal decisions about what they're gonna do. And the technology that vehicle. Helps that it needs -- you know there I think into the they're talking about. -- people running world rights were content and loud. And -- in jeopardy. Of bird that's. I don't know we can guarantee that but it I -- think that the history the world so that people do that but the -- button. If you do if you take. With now. Over how much it. That makes it easier I think that helped. And wonder yeah I wonder if. It is so easy then is it gonna become yet more noise again actually been so many people be leaking documents in New York -- you recount there would be. And we won't even know what's what's there anymore but not the start together organization. Again that things and I. According. Things will be balanced out we are. Like he pointed out -- this is an amazing transparency reconvene in some remote village in the -- and see what happens there when that. Policeman Peta protesters. But there there is just so much of this out there. I have I have one question. Back to you law and -- -- I wonder about as -- -- as we look we -- -- in the email WikiLeaks is if there's -- a generational component to this. And -- -- a little wager that everybody up here is older than thirty which means that we sort of grew up in one context. As one if there's any main audience was under -- 32. Had seven a different perspective -- and I thought I'm perspective on on WikiLeaks and journalism and at that they -- -- thoughts. And night. And also from. -- -- an interesting meanest fashion. At two -- after -- comment. So 50% of pakistanis according to -- WikiLeaks. And covert operations. Don't believe it's just. Which is an interesting I mean and -- to your thing about. It was spot on his right but the reason to believe that that's because I'm deliberate propaganda and the Pakistani army. WikiLeaks made them really bad security -- on -- counter propaganda campaign to make it seem like the -- mixes propaganda from the government. On being under authority and being in journalism I do agree with the island is going to -- -- and me and we instruments are gonna have to change how we think about tactics and journalism. Because on environment has changed the rules of the game changed. Some -- -- we can operate in both controlled conditions anymore. And as if he's right now going on in the program. -- The -- by -- Three civilians. And one woman committed suicide after an -- -- -- This incident. And the New York Times withheld information with me. And because for ethical reasons but and the guardian. -- that he lives and then it became a -- -- -- the New York Times. Phase. The US government -- and with -- And I just think that they shouldn't have withheld because of -- anyway. And so that -- norms of you know privacy and transparent it completely changed yes -- -- US citizen and his -- could be threatened and knocked on every single newspaper -- pocket and but every TV channel they were -- that the ancient. Is not a CIA agent of water -- Turn out to be -- -- -- It didn't the rules of it at six and editorial policy is released and I think we're living in -- Global world and I mean I really think of Bill Keller was in pockets -- the last two years he would mean that decision to withhold that information. Because -- -- -- -- advocates everywhere -- pocket on someone gonna leak at. Is sticking me that question a generational thing is anybody else who wanted to take a stab at them. -- under thirty. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And definitely not under thirty. But -- wholeheartedly agree with but he says. This like a lot of discussions I've been hearing about WikiLeaks. Treats it like it's kind of a moment in time. And maybe an endpoint but I was even a suggestion that whose -- will people see this again. But if you watch the progression of media analysts -- thirty years we've been. Rolling down the river and it's getting wider and wider. I -- can't. -- -- -- This is gonna be happening more and more and more and it. An -- journalist for thirty years I think it is changing the term interest is changing institutions and government. And other institution. We. -- -- -- tech friendly city here kind of where the power of -- -- -- people. Personal computer access the Internet. Applaud many many times more bloggers. Are journalists. The public doesn't Foster Wallace went 13% of them -- -- internals as an institution. And I think that we have to come to terms of the reduces. Avalanche of information coming out and we have to think about journalism. Maintaining the quality standards that we've always -- to. -- try to figure out our -- to become more relevant. In the coming age. -- this information flows downstream. I don't know I mean. I agree with what you're saying and hopefully we -- I mean as soon as you start making guesses about what to withhold -- -- -- -- or. Certain reasons then your credibility. I like -- -- Anything. -- documents that. You might ask why I mean if it's if it's specifically something illegal that you could be authenticated -- leaking. -- -- -- information I guess that's understandable that. I think as journalists drive that is indeed bring up this 13% -- -- credibility ranking whenever I think showing. In and showing about opening the process -- going original materials one way. Do that. -- First this is not a new discussion. At all this has been happening for many many years. I think it really hypocrites and a when the Kennedy cousin ray -- the young woman on the families -- And she -- she was named everywhere and and yet many institutions journalist -- he did not in the same debate. The same debate came up and you'll be the same point you make which is it's out there you have to printer name. And people said the same thing that basically that Evans said. A few minutes ago which is just because you can doesn't mean you should. On the ethics are just. Too. Improve your standing. With the with the community at large. They speak a lot about the organization. Which organization believes. I am likely to agree with you I -- But my thinking a little different. I was working in Pakistan -- -- who's really new we had a choice of coming up with a code of ethics alleging that involve. Based on feedback from people and also discussions and in the group. And we're still the evolving and I really like the fact that there's a discourse kind of going -- And it's not from the top because things change -- time. And I pressed him not comfortable with the -- victims' names being published but I know that in the US there are some news organizations that do. It kind of the feel like it that crossed that barrier but I am definitely not comfortable with -- -- I do think that you need to have that conversation. Depends on -- issue. I'm only a few years from from thirty -- I do think that. That it wouldn't I mean obviously we've we've already discussed that contacts in the contextualizing that is the main three newspapers did and I -- think. It would have had the impact. Without. Savvy journalism without. Experts from all the different bureaus flying to London flying to new York and and meaning in talking about the relevance and and I don't think it would have. You may have taken a lot longer -- mean if Jazeera and it had not. Taken upon itself to do that -- I do think that it. Is a world of bloggers -- you wouldn't have the same impacts and I wonder if you would at the same geo political impacts. It weren't for those Big Three. And the prestige thing happen that expertise that they. So another crescent -- he's becoming is am. This whole question of of objectivity -- him. The Canon for fifty years has been dot -- speak with an -- of -- if there is one narrative and one set of facts. -- Is is the reporting on WikiLeaks. Am a necessity looked -- bill caller's. Disorienting in in New York Times magazine we talked about you know the guardian -- -- -- in the -- tests focusing on something else. Is is this to some degree am. Challenging our notion that there is one narrative than one trees and if so then do we need to start rethinking this whole. It subjectivity stance and an amber was saying become more transparent about why we're focusing on this -- -- -- -- -- Madden not do we sort of need this this meta narrative going on next. -- -- stories about explaining -- choices of heart -- and it's a great I think what upsets to a with the concept of objective. And we it quickly -- -- and news institution. If we figure out some of their lives. I believe there's not a single institution it. The -- unions times and anything. I think what scares me more than. Then the objective ET news is that. Is the lack of diversity. We have much less objective -- In general and Arab yet because that state sponsored but we have a lot more diversity of pollutants the F 22 story. -- went into foreign policies -- to perceptions and in many cases they hate each other. So so so with a satellite technology and Arab -- which which in -- And they were saying they were seeing different respecting difference cloud -- -- and miles she -- -- but the the truth is somewhere in the but he did you have you that you -- news coverage of stories in making news almost one story and that's scary. I think it's a creative went out to the explosion of logging -- -- A lot more where -- -- -- -- challenges is that mainstream. I'm in the nation -- site within the mainstream media -- in their -- diversity. So what I'm trying to say. It's for me after -- of the biases in Virginia. -- in -- in they have a very close relationship with Iran -- And Syria so for example you'll see demonstrations in the -- You'll see demonstrations in and in Egypt lets you lucky demonstration -- -- Fuller agree expand and you -- Yeah because of the -- knows that. And the geopolitical position off of -- it has would relationship beyond because chairs offshore huge offshore -- -- and so -- Natural gas button right -- -- Because. What the mainstream media for -- -- spot. The cable televisions. Or or or major newspapers in Egypt and by by an end of the day how much money. So -- -- we're not going to do not going to decide to chilling news report that is going to do -- -- pressing an American audience. Or shall images all holidays to lend a bomb jumps on -- off guns on the Pakistan. Because this is is -- to. I mean no company wants its commercial right after that you. It's a -- was feeling good televisions. -- but what I'm trying to say let's think more about. Diversity. Of news coverage of angles. -- may be just can be different. And and then let -- Audience and the readers they themselves figure out devices but did say I'm going to be objective. It's in the -- Because there's no objective -- India might be objective -- the way you write your story. You use the king's English birthday but the way they -- was that you decide to cover versions -- this Smith. -- angled view taken so long and so I could point so many biases in mainstream media that are hidden. Because not because I'm smarter but because an export smaller. And exposed -- more diverse. And more biases. Public phrase that Jay Rosen. New media critic from. New York University -- -- front of the view from nowhere. Which you feel like the ultimate like -- With traditional media -- try to step outside. The community and if the interests that drive the news. -- -- -- -- -- And view what happens -- that's what. -- If that app. What really make walking and -- alternate sources of news that are only now piper it. Gauging what you have hundreds of comments. Blog and -- doesn't even need your way. But but the major news organizations. Front -- and -- games with a turning page there -- buying that story. And we're telling they'll image -- is -- your product that took -- -- -- -- -- you -- summer questions. Which is. As SOS Thomas saying you know WikiLeaks as a phenomenon is not a moment in time it's gonna become a way of life so whether it's WikiLeaks or open links or whether it's. -- -- some money on community because in a day and age when you can walk out of a government agency or a private company with the -- terabytes with information on a thumb drive. The -- that's of the future. You know -- all gonna confronted with with this this stuff going forward. So given that it's and it's not it's not just -- it's also the fact that can't get that other. Organizations can can publish this did the same information we can all be reporting on. These kinds of weeks leasing other. What is one thing we need to do differently about how we do journalism in this new age in which were going into -- and a. See guys that to submit -- make sure that there's nobody else who has a question or comment before we start running out emails. Mean one thing a thing and -- -- and I actually had a question and induces a little bit different from discussions have private. A couple circumstances where. There in these reports they came out -- on leaked you know WikiLeaks documents actually contained. Inaccurate information. In some of these reports came out in you know reported -- as fact and I'm wondering and I guess my question is really dealing with. You know how reporters are our engaging with its import each and in his -- sort of a lack of skepticism in fact checking is because it is a leaked document. But I think that's because of that trouble with Unix with having early on and if it. My Bible is the -- document. Like and a lot of stuff I don't know where it came from these guys are at the lot of work. What -- don't have the expertise. I'm looking -- -- -- -- reporting -- state records from Switzerland and I don't know who would like all. That means -- by people who actually. Her have knowledge and an attractive -- -- -- with your document. I mean if you if the worker trying to connect. Knowledge to -- the broad permissions it hear it and now. Understand it well I think it's a daunting path. Are where the solution that and -- -- with very typical. Accurate. In. Provide intelligence and or -- out but if -- -- Also indicates of the US leaked cables. Weren't always what the -- -- -- -- actually. Paraphrasing caller narrative of what ever -- -- listening to that meeting and taking it. So you could easily treat that as -- as fact you could also fall into that problem so I don't -- discipline would help. And it has to be internationally to -- from. A narrative that is original -- in the document 222. Don't know what it's not a factor right. -- The WikiLeaks finds itself on never having were releasing document that has -- actually checked out hasn't been verified. But there's -- and so the documents in other words I'm not one has been proven to be an authentic. The but. The document -- and in terms of the State Department cables are human recollections of the meeting. There are -- the reportorial in nature. I and some of diplomats track -- very good writers. But that doesn't mean that there recollection is in fact accurate may be there reporting what -- for -- second and -- am and so news organizations especially ones with the resources and time. Than the New York time answers people I'm. Have spent. Considered on time trying to verify what actually happened and I think they've done -- pretty decent job. Whether. Someone who is writing very quick story doesn't have the background is going to the same vetting from -- perhaps not so it did really really like. Many things in them in terms of reporting depends. Okay under the final questions -- one thing we used analysts should do differently or -- evolve our practices give them the new environment and we -- and. We're going on the line. There is I mean -- maybe this is the blurring of the line between journalist and technologists. This is I've been admit maybe you're one of Michael. And we should speak to this but it on the but it when you have these large data sets that have been dumped in your lap I remember the AOL. The search logs that came out a few years ago. Out what people were searching for on sale well I mean how how do you make sense of the excellent when it's hundreds of megabytes. In all of Shakespeare's only ten to fifteen megabytes I mean there's a lot of data. WikiLeaks. Few people remember this in October 2009. I think that was. Released today -- procedure logs and I was currently the only journalist there on the work with an advance. And so I act I'm an advance copy of of this -- and and I went over eventually search -- up the narrative them that these these -- Peter logs for those -- an -- -- that on September 11 across the country -- -- I went through and found a US Secret Service feature blogs men. I am in the end I was able to confirm this summer did directly and indirectly. And so that's that's an mariner -- of the UT's Apple when you've got hundreds of megabytes it's it's very difficult and requires some something more interesting than just -- cracked. By the Unix command line tool. I think we just have to. Understand the what becomes more important as you sort of issues -- the role here analysis the role here editing functions so. How much kind of brain power can bring not just fine in the state capitals. -- If there's all this information out of there -- people what people need some sort of within some sort of guide and think about things and you don't get that from. Think when you don't get that from what you mixing. Them acres necessarily. With credible content whether it is very relevant -- though it is good but all this -- every. Out there is. Journalists have become much more of -- -- -- dialog with with community audiences. I think everybody who's been. Publishing online for an extra time as a lot of and bring about that the tenor of that the conversation so the the the discussion board to think -- -- it through the use with -- that it but I actually think it's the opposite of either we have good ways to filter out. -- garbage. The -- up and smarter than we are. And I mean I think is currently again -- -- you reaching out experts and sources where we -- we're filter. In. Using our -- well connecting them to information you can help but tell the story analyzes. Make that that's gonna be. A huge challenge for them not to be the megaphone. Turning to. You back -- with audiences. People talking it through those I mean you look -- comets -- that the production of words. Around the news -- the -- -- itself this is probably less 1% of the reviews that act like if it got around that story. We have find ways to the surface the best -- that the -- -- discussion. And help that for months and or -- -- -- -- of a collaborative -- -- I think it it that WikiLeaks and -- phenomena is is is challenging journalists. Because as -- allow more data available. And I don't think. Traditional journalism. -- couple pieces of information and bring an expert. And lumped together an article and publish it which which many do considering how much. The budget is being cuts from many news institutions -- -- is going to work. Molecular and that they believe is readers. Not to you know not believing -- being more sophisticated. And and it has to be something else has to be an interdisciplinary and this point. Has to be a -- -- and discipline that helps -- sort through this -- okay what do I can focus on what data should I look at as well as. And which which analysis could make it could be true or -- more accurate than other analysts because you can always find. Different perspectives and different experts saying different things so the discipline of -- and I think -- evolving. And it's becoming. To be a journalist you really have to be more not only aware of what's happening in the region will also aware of how to make sense of tremendous amount of data. And tremendous and also as well as differing narratives and different analysts. And I think I mean we're seeing more more newsrooms. Trying to -- its data by bringing developers in the newsroom and that that's something we see happening. And at the New York Times and other places actually people who know how to deal with this and in different ways thinking about it differently presenting it in different ways that. Embrace the fact that the Internet is this amazing interactive medium which is also -- -- also thinking about how they get you know. A valuable dialog going I think I mean. There's more competition than -- there is competition and thousands of blog whoever wants to publish something on that are minor become WikiLeaks have become. Whenever they artists I mean more than ever journalists have to prove they are adding values -- -- being transparent by it. Providing the best contact the -- analysis being the fastest whatever it is that they claim is their brand I mean it's. It's not getting any user is going to get more and more competitive and and the best. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Okay and that no we will -- it up. Thank you again to the panelists for making it here on on a gridlocked tonight and thank you guys.