WikiLeaks: Is this good for democracy?
- December 7, 2010 11:36 AM |
- By POV
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures during a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland in early November. (Martial Trezzini/Associated Press)
Since WikiLeaks began publishing millions of classified U.S. embassy cables on Nov. 28, there has been debate around the world on whether WikiLeaks has the right to do so.
A CBCNews.ca survey asking if WikiLeaks should publish sensitive diplomatic files has received more than 74,000 votes since be published in late-November. A resounding 81 per cent of respondents agreed it should.
Most commenters on the side of WikiLeaks believed the leaks are beneficial for democracy.
"Accountability of governments requires openness and availability of information," wrote
E-razor agreed. "It is in the public's interest and security that we be protected from corrupt and criminal politicians. Leak baby leak."
Readers who believe the documents shouldn't be released argued that WikiLeaks was compromising safety.
"No, we do not have the right to see these documents, that's why they have been stolen by warped individuals who have decided the rule of law does not apply to them," ElizabethF wrote. "Governments need to be able to keep certain information secret ... [it's] called 'national security' for very good reasons."
News organizations and editorial writers have also waded into the argument of whether WikiLeaks' actions qualify as journalism.
Some commenters like the Zimbabwe Independent's Dumisani Muleya, have supported the leaks.
"From a purely journalistic point of view, WikiLeaks did a great job," Muleya wrote. "The release of the files represents the triumph of investigative journalism."
Others, like conservative columnist Ezra Levant, disagreed. "Stealing state secrets and then publishing them to our enemies in a time of war is not journalism. It's espionage," he wrote in the National Post.
"If allowing the truth to be known to all isn't journalism at it's best, then what is?" asked Rickity Rick." I applaud [WikiLeaks co-founder Julian] Assange for his courage, and look forward to more WikiLeaks."
Reader Inner Peace argued that WikiLeaks is doing more journalistic work than "CNN, NBC, ABC, or any of the other major media outlets employs these days. Very little truth or deception uncovered through those outlets."
However, Facebook user De La Chris Hearn disagreed. "It's not journalism at all. It's just an information source. There is no analysis or commentary. It's just dumping a whole pile of documents online for people to access, that's all."
Let's continue this conversation. Do you believe WikiLeaks is good for democracy? Has it succeeded where major news organizations have failed? Or do you think WikiLeaks has been irresponsible and endangers national security? Let us know in the comments below.
P.O.V.: Does Julian Assange deserve a Nobel Peace Prize?
P.O.V.: Are you concerned you'll be affected by WikiLeaks' supporters' cyber-attacks?
P.O.V.: Do WikiLeaks' actions qualify as journalism?
P.O.V.: Should WikiLeaks publish sensitive U.S. diplomatic files?
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