It's a model more blogs should adopt; the melding of sources and expertise would improve the quality of what's published on the Web immensely, as well as help keep real journalism alive (and real journalists employed -- some collegial self-interest at play here).
Still, by spreading the story among three news orgs, instead of sharing it all with a single outlet, Assange made sure WikiLeaks stayed at the center of the story. Assange says WikiLeaks' mission is all about "transparency." I think there's a fair amount of egotism involved too. Assange could certainly could use a little more transparency within his own organization.
We don't need WikiLeaks to reveal its sources; we need it to reveal the rules it operates by, whether it has ever rejected materials submitted to it as fakes, whether it has ever withheld information that was deemed too sensitive (and what kind of information falls into that category), and to be a bit less vague about how it authenticates the documents that find their way to WikiLeaks' doors. In other words, tell us why we should trust you, Julian. That would go a long way toward earning WikiLeaks respect as well as notoriety.
Blown any whistles lately? What secrets do you want to see revealed? Post your thoughts below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story, "WikiLeaks reveals more than state secrets with Afghan War Diary," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog.
This story, "WikiLeaks' Afghan War Diary Tells Two Tales" was originally published by InfoWorld.