josh rosner

Posts Tagged ‘press’

ROSS CAMERON ON WIKILEAKS

In Australian Politics on January 13, 2011 at 1:46 am

I never imagined the first article I linked to by another writer would be by a disgraced former Liberal MP. Nonetheless, Ross Cameron’s opinion piece in today’s National Times reflects not only my own sentiments towards Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, but it is also an excellent piece of writing.

In November last year I delivered a paper to the Journalism Educators’ Association Conference at UTS, Sydney, titled: ‘Can WikiLeaks Save Journalism and Democracy?‘ My broad argument is a simple one and it mostly reflects the views of Ross Cameron.

WikiLeaks is here to stay. Like it or not. If not WikiLeaks then another so-called ‘transparency-democracy’ website with a similar approach to the secrets of sovereign nations and the ‘elites’ who lead them. WikiLeaks is good for journalism – particularly print journalism – because it decreases the massive costs of investigative journalism and it removes much of the threat of legal consequence in reporting ‘secrets’.

Swiss theoretical philosopher Dale Jacquette formulated a ‘fundamental justificatory principle’ for professional journalism. The principle states that:

Journalists are morally committed to maximally relevant truth-telling in the   public interest and for the public good.’ (See Jacquette, D. (2005).                   Journalistic Ethics: Moral Responsibility in the Media. Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

If we accept Jacquette’s principle as being reflective of the broad intent of journalism (and I do), then the public good dictates that not only is it morally permissible for the mainstream, traditional media to report on secret documents published by WikiLeaks, it is morally obligatory for journalists to do so. If journalists are not permitted to do their job freely, unhindered, then the very foundations of democracy will crumble.

That is my argument. I’m still searching for a publisher for my paper, but I will provide a link to it here once that occurs.

You can read Ross Cameron’s insightful piece here.

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