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On air: Is 'new' journalism irresponsible journalism?

Claudia Bradshaw Claudia Bradshaw | 09:53 UK time, Friday, 30 July 2010

Wikileaks

Wikileaks has been accused of having blood on it's hands after publishing 91,000 classified documents. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen said,

"Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he think he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family,"

For the last few days critics of Wikileaks have said Afghan lives could be in danger because they've been included in the documents the names of civilians who have cooperated with international forces.

Today the Taliban has said it's going to hunt out the wikileaks informers and behead them.

 The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has described it as 'shocking and irresponsible'.

Similarly the US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has called the leak "severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners".

And a Pentagon spokeperson says someone named in the documents has already complained to US officials in Afghanistan.

But Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has defended publishing the documents:

"...if we were forced into a position of publishing all of the archives or none of the archives we would publish all of the archives because it's extremely important to the history of the war."

An editorial in the Times newspaper argues that established news organisations would not have published the leaks in full and that Wikileaks should have waited until they'd checked all names had been removed before publishing.

Anne Applebaum writing in the Washington Post thinks the internet is no match for the mainstream media.

Is new journalism a force for justice? Or is this just irresponsible journalism?


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