WikiLeaks website has changed the profession of journalism in the United States and the media perspective with its flow in the information society. The website is a platform that helps unmask all the corruption activities going on in the government offices. Of all the media platforms WikiLeaks is the most famous for the news updates on political matters happening in the states and around the globe. Wilileaks has contributed to several media conflicts especially between the United States and other nations and that is why the government does not support its activities at all. In my essay, I am going to explore the various ways in which WikiLeaks has helped unmask several criminal and corruption activities going on in the country. Although some of its news are a bit compromising to the security and dignity of the nation the platform has given light to the people of the United States of America.
Wikileaks is a non-profitable and non-commercial internet platform that was introduced in 2006 by Julia Assage. It relies on online donation for all its functioning and funding. Its main purpose is to upload documents that help expose the government and corporate institutions to the public. These documents are uploaded anonymously by using an online submission form. The importance of this platform is that it has the potential to make known the scale of brutality and violence especially in the military welfare.
Political honesty is a virtue that every U S politician should exercise and with the help of Wikileaks they have no option but observe it. In other words, a journalist platform watchdog makes secrets transparent to all and especially those involving the public. Most media organization has tried to view groups like WikiLeaks in several dimensions with most of them considering its concrete actions as one of the online activism and the impacts of its actions. It is important to first note the relationship between the two groups, media and government. In most incidences the media always seems to be conflicting with the government over issues regarding the people. Platforms like WikiLeaks are great threat to the state government especially in issues of corruption and law (Shirky, 2011, p.41).
Through their online activism, Anonymous and WikiLeaks groups have their power to “unmask” power structures like the corrupt police departments in the US, and all the Armison brutality activities. While WikiLeaks has gained fame as a whistle blowing site since its introduction in 2006, its reputation increased when it released the so-called Iraq and Afghanistan war document in 2010. This document contained crucial and important information about the events that took place and the people and nations responsible for the war. The United States government was not happy with the release of these documents as they posed great danger of terror attacks by either Iraq or Afghanistan. These two countries are known for their fierce terrorism activities and interfering with them would be like provoking them.
The release of these documents brought about a number of questions concerning the legal implication of journalism freedom with top government officials claiming that too much freedom will lead to misuse of information or misinterpretation of some crucial and sensitive information (Springer, 2014, p.411).Actions of WikiLeaks have affected the media platform in various concrete ways.
The likes of Tambini and Lynch have tried to investigate the implication of WikiLeaks work and the measures to regulate the censorship of related sites especially in the UK and US. They argue that whistle blowing organizations should be awarded protection under the law on their ability to “self-regulate” and “develop” ethical principles to govern their freedom of publication and decisions they make on their work. The platform poses a great threat to the government and politicians and there are fears that if allowed to continue with its activities it will cause a lot of harm to the U S government by exposing sensitive government secrets to the world. Other nations also feel that WikiLeaks should be restricted on some publications because some of the information it exposes might cause a lot of friction especially between nations.
The advancement of WikiLeaks since its establishment up to the publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan document was marked by a degree of media fascination, which made it gain a lot of fame compared to other media platforms. This posed a great threat to the media personalities who felt that WikiLeaks was gaining fame with each passing day making their work very difficult to appeal their audience. Its turnaround moment came in 2010 and continued to 2011 when the organization produced a lot of materials and documents regarding the Iraq war, the Collateral Murder Video and the diplomatic cable.
There have been several attempts by media organizations to look down on the role of cites like WikiLeaks and deny them the freedom to post confidential documents although these attempts have not succeeded because the platform is under the media authority which protects all its activities. It also describes itself as a watchdog for the people “we believe that it is not only the people of the United States who should keep their government honest but also people from other countries” and that is why other countries are also opposing Wikileaks activities. (Pozen, 2013, p.635).
We can say that wikiLeaks has played a great role in ensuring that congress does not abuse the powers granted to it and its members. He makes information about organizations that abuse powers granted to them available to the public and so they are aware of what their leaders do this makes leaders very keen on what they do. Anonymous submission of analyzed documents about the various activities going on in public offices and organizations are presented on the WikiLeaks website enabling millions of viewers to have knowledge of what is happening behind the curtains of power. The difference between WikiLeaks and other sites like Wikipedia is that it engages mostly in the political struggles.
The use of media has become a trend in the United States making the latter transparent and exposing those who try to abuse office powers granted to them. Today we live in a world where technology is the main aspect to shaping the lives of many people. The internet is now being used as an eye of power to tackle various aspects of crimes performed by leaders especially in third world countries (Coleman, 2014, p.406).
Based on various aspects of tradition we can define power as the “disposition over the means required to influence various processes and decisions in our daily lives.” this means that the power to control several issues like political influences and distribution of resources can be distributed in a more systematic way.
Democracy is the only way to ensure there is equal distribution and exercise of both political and cultural powers. Organizations like WikiLeaks exist because we live in an era where political and cultural powers are not exercised fairly as expected. Any government that exercises its powers as expected should not have any worries about organizations set to scan their activities. They should instead be supporting such groups so that they can display their good work on these sites. The United States government highly opposes such organizations like Wikileaks because they are afraid that their dirty linens will be exposed to the public.
Analysis shows that the most important element of WikiLeaks is to make the Obama government practice transparency in their works and offices, establish a more transparent, and open government. The platform defines itself as a liberal project that protects the rights of the United States people especially freedom of speech because it strengthens democracy by exposing government corruption. He places his emphasis on documenting government and corporate irresponsibility and abuse of powers. This shows the general public that the corrupt government is the main problem in the world’s economy and is pulling development behind. Instead of improving the livelihood of their nations politicians are busy engaging themselves embezzling funds and resources meant to improve the development of their citizens.
There has been an emerging body geared at seeking a framework to examine the works of WikiLeaks and its impact on the current situation in the U S. The widespread use of technology has made his work a success in various ways and has brought a great impact to the world’s economy. Following the publication of the Iraq documents the United States government heavily criticized WikiLeaks work. The government claimed that these documents were a great threat to the security of their country and could put the citizens at a very high risk of terror attacks by the Afghanistan government (Springer, 2014, p.411).
The truth about the WikiLeaks documents is that they got the potential and ability to make visible the amount of brutality and violence especially in military horror conflicts during their activities because some use a lot of brutality on their subjects. The site is political based since most of its news come from the political arena, although many view it as a threat to ruling groups and they see it as an enemy. Instead criticizing such cites we should base our efforts in monitoring the governance offered by our political leaders. We should ask ourselves are our political leaders meeting all our demands and expectations. Do they take advantage of the powers granted to them to abuse office? In fact, we should ensure that we capture every activity they undertake so that we can be sure of what they do with our money. They should be aware that the public is watching their every move and be conscious of their actions.
There has been a problem with scientists arguing that the journalism powers and freedom granted to these sites are too much and they are using them inappropriately to create biased information. Most leaders are unable to verify the facts stated in the articles because they do not have a strong background. This makes the general public doubt their potential and innocence in the accused incidents. Some of these articles have very confidential information about the government and exposing them is like displaying the secrets of a state. The scientist claims that there should be a certain limit to the freedom of publication of such documents to the internet because they may cause a great damage in future (Gibson 2013, p. 314).
In my study, I have explored several things and have learnt that; journalism benefits from a disclosure of the framework in which it is built. A journalism model is bound to directly or in directly affects the model in which leaking of important documents will be exposed to the public. In my opinion, WikiLeaks models are the most effective journalism models since they abide to the entire ethic. Real life cases are always the best examples to handle and solve situations and that is why it is advisable in some situations to leave behind the easy scenarios to get the best outcome to fit in the world.
Most critiques of Wikileaks have released their anger by claiming that exposing secret documents will pose great danger to Americans. For instance, if you expose concrete information about a certain terror group the group is bound to take revenge on you by conducting a terror attack on you. Some of the publishers do not look at the possibilities of posing danger to the people but stick to the fact that the public has the right to know what is happening around them regardless of the intensity of the matter. It is therefore advisable that these journalists are cautious of what they publish to the public to avoid any conflicts. I believe that journalists have the right to publish what they want and help the public know about their government on the basis that they abide by the rules put in place to govern their publications.
Curran, G, & Gibson, M 2013, ‘WikiLeaks, Anarchism and Technologies of Dissent’, Antipode, 45, 2, pp. 294-314, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 November 2014.
Springer, S, Chi, H, Crampton, J, McConnell, F, Cupples, J, Glynn, K, Warf, B, & Attewell, W 2012, ‘Leaky Geopolitics: The Ruptures and Transgressions of WikiLeaks’, Geopolitics, 17, 3, pp. 681-711, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 November 2014.
Youngblood Coleman, D 2014, ‘United States: 2014 Country Review’, United States Country Review, pp. 1-981, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 November 2014.
Coleman, DY 2014, ‘Afghanistan’, Afghanistan Country Review, pp. 2-406, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 November 2014.
Pozen, DE 2013, ‘The Leaky Leviathan: Why The Government Condemns And Condones Unlawful Disclosures Of Information’, Harvard Law Review, 127, 2, pp. 512-635, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 November 2014.
Shirky, C 2011, ‘The Political Power of Social Media’, Foreign Affairs, 90, 1, pp. 28-41, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 November 2014.