Between Bill Keller's recent expose about the New York Times' unpleasant and bizarre dealings with Julian Assange and then Sunday's "60 Minutes" interview with the WikiLeaks founder, it would seem we're now just as interested in the man as his creation, if not more so. But his profile may soon wane, and not just because the U.S. is doing all that it can to put the kibosh on Assange and prevent future leaks. Wikileaks competitor Openleaks also hit the scene Friday, and the New York Times is considering plans to develop something similar for sourcing leaked information, which would cut out the middleman. For L.A. Times columnist Doyle McManus, there are still more signs that the WikiLeaks era may soon be coming to an end. In a list of lessons learned from WikiLeaks, he includes:
We also learned that we still need journalists to decipher what raw information means. It's telling that even Assange, no fan of traditional institutions, felt a need to turn to old-fashioned newspapers and magazines to make sense of all those cables.
On our comment board, "BillyH1" agreed:
This entire hoopla over Wikileaks is silliness at its greatest. Assange is nothing more than an international gossip columnist. At the height of the Wikileaks story several weeks ago, it seemed that he and Wikileaks would expose malfeasance, corruption, or deep secrets. Instead, the leaks have been a huge snooze fest. The leaks are so boring, in fact, that the story has seemingly dropped off the radar of most news outlets. The opinions held by the State Department about the character of certain diplomats and world leaders are rather insignificant "secrets." Good old fashion journalism like that done by Woodward and Bernstein still trumps Wikileaks’ pitiful efforts any day.
But maybe WikiLeaks is here to stay, as "MichaelJ.Cahill"* snapped back:
McManus' inability to comprehend this new publishing phenomenon is at the heart of why traditional corporate media is struggling so ineffectually to survive in the new environment.
(*Spelling errors corrected for clarity.)
-- Alexandra Le Tellier