Franklin Center - Washington Times: WikiLeaks isn't journalism

This weekend, the Washington Times ran an op-ed by Franklin Center President Jason Stverak Stverak took on the controversial topic of WikiLeaks and journalism arguing that a reporter's job is more than document dumping. Below is an excerpt of the op-ed and you can read more at

With the state of the media in disarray, many are looking to answer the all-important question: What is the future of journalism? The proposed answers range from the government investing in the re-emergence of the traditional newspaper business to the ever-growing popularity of Internet news websites. But one thing is certain: WikiLeaks and websites that are dedicated to shock-and-awe news do not have a place in the journalism debate.

The first reason to exclude WikiLeaks from the "journalism" classification is simply that WikiLeaks isn't journalism - posting raw information doesn't cut it.

Journalism is the hard if-your-mother-says-she-loves-you-check-it-out work of verifying, corroborating, digging up, questioning all parties, putting in context, tracking back to original sources and ruthlessly assaying information. Then comes the hardest part, taking all of the research and work and boiling it down into an accurate, comprehensive and balanced distillation of the entire situation for the public. The act of dumping 250,000 messages on the Web does not meet this criterion.

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About the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity
Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity promotes social welfare and civil betterment by undertaking programs that promote journalism and the education of the public about corruption, incompetence, fraud, or taxpayer abuse by elected officials at all levels of government. Founded in January of 2009, The Franklin Center is a nonpartisan organization that believes that new technology can advance the cause of transparency in government. The Franklin Center aims to educate, to advise and to train individuals and organizations from all backgrounds to become thorough, unbiased and responsible reporters well versed in new media techniques and journalistic integrity. For more information on the Franklin Center please visit