Push and Pull

A little note about the dynamic between WikiLeaks and the 5 newspapers they’re collaborating with:

Freedom of Information advocates have been commending WikiLeaks for the decision to defer the vetting and publication of individual cables to experienced, seasoned journalists.

No argument there.

But what about WikiLeaks’ effect on these newspapers? Surely there’s some awareness -and likely trepidation- among editorial staff that WikiLeaks might become impatient or angry if the papers either published the cables too slowly, at too low a profile or if they were found to be eliding uncomfortable facts in their reporting? And surely Assange is aware of this. Whatever you may think of him, he is a very very clever boy (as are all the members of this organisation).

Strategically, WikiLeaks gains far more from this exchange than the newspapers. They garner badly-needed credibility, at the same time holding tremendous tactical leverage over highly regarded members of the popular media. Ultimately, the newspapers need WikiLeaks far more than WikiLeaks needs them.

Julian Assange’s designation as Editor In Chief is more apt than many realise….