Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Celebrating the rebirth of investigative journalism

In the United States and its allies, the principle of investigative journalism — that it is the duty of a free press to remain skeptical of authority and powerful persons and institutions and reveal their secret activities to the public — has almost entirely withered under the heat brought to bear by a thin-skinned elite.

Journalist Edward R. Murrow, London, 1939

When reporters weren’t afraid to report: journalist Edward R. Murrow, London, 1939.
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Once the Washington Post brought down the Nixon administration by looking into a break-in at Democratic headquarters and tracing the lines of authority to find that the orders behind it originated at the top. Since then, however, the Post and its congeners have become lapdogs which so value their access to the powerful that they have been willing to echo their lies: Witness Judith Miller’s performance for the New York Times as she made the Bush administration’s case for the invasion of Iraq.

But when a vital societal function vanishes, it leaves behind a vacuum which will sooner or later be filled.

Enter WikiLeaks.

By obtaining and publishing on the internet thousands of classified documents — mostly military and from Iraq and Afghanistan — WikiLeaks has restored the journalistic ideal. No longer do we have to rely upon “professionals” to perform the kinds of investigative reporting we thought had died after Watergate, for now we have the internet and databases full of information screaming to be freed. Today, for the first time, you and I have the resources to learn and report what those in power would have kept to themselves. Today, thanks to WikiLeaks, there are a billion potential Bob Woodwards scattered over the internet-connected world.

And that is why WikiLeaks is a good thing again.

Oh, and this page is a good thing, too. It is very simple, consisting of its title, a headline randomly selected from among those for stories on file from investigative journalists relying on WikiLeaks as a primary information source, a link to the accompanying story, and a light-blue-outlined box containing a snarky-mindless one-liner purporting to demean WikiLeaks’ accomplishments. Click on that box to be taken to a page featuring another story, and so forth.

Originally published as a review of a sowhyiswikileaksagoodthingagain.com article on WikiLeaks and its achievements in the public interest. Update: As of 29 April 2015,
this site is apparently inactive.

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