The New York Times May Follow Al Jazeera, Be Their Own Wikileaks

The New York Times is considering creating an EZ-Pass lane for leakers modeled after Wikileaks and the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit, reports Yahoo’s Cutline.

Like WikiLeaks, the Al Jazeera Transparency Unit allows users to submit files through an encrypted system that does not record any of their personal information. Al Jazeera launched the initiative earlier this month, but it’s been getting a lot more attention since the network began reporting Sunday on more than 1,700 classified files in the network’s possession, part of the biggest classified leak related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It sounds smart because it would effectively cut out the middle man–who last time turned out to be kind of a headache–but as Julian Assange-profiler Raffi Khatchadourian (and soon filmmaker?) pointed out on the New Yorker blog, it won’t make Wikileaks obsolete. One of Wikileaks goals is to be “a publisher of last resort.” Even if the Times decides something isn’t newsworthy or safe to publish, Wikileaks could remain a major player in the new school of leak journalism. We also wonder if leakers will be as motivated to spill to The Times, which lacks the radical, anti-establishment persona of Wikileaks.

kstoeffel@observer.com :: @kstoeffel

The New York Times May Follow Al Jazeera, Be Their Own Wikileaks