WikiLeaks: reviving investigative journalism
The premise underlying WikiLeaks is deceptively simple: that every citizen has a right to know what his government is doing. By releasing the US embassy cables, the site is serving precisely that end. But of course such a simple idea is not so simple in practice, for those in power are not pleased to have their embarrassing misdeeds and duplicitous words brought before the world, and they will do anything to put a stop to it.
In this confrontation between citizen-journalist and ruling elite, I am reminded of something Thomas Paine once said: “Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.”