WikiLeaks Press is a volunteer-organized news and news aggregation website endorsed by WikiLeaks.
In mid 2010, we began publishing weekly digests of articles and scholarly works which make use of material released by WikiLeaks, as well as our own retrospective commentary and original research pieces.
We also collected and have archived over 10,000 such items which make use of WikiLeaks releases, which we hope to make available in an easily searchable format.
Today, we aim to develop a set of tools and a methodology for the maintainance of a cellular, community-driven news aggregation and content creation hub around issues related to WikiLeaks releases, whistle-blowing, surveillance, and related topics. We choose to support WikiLeaks by showcasing how its material is used in practice, and we aim to encourage more widespread and sophisticated use of WikiLeaks archive material.
Broadly speaking, we would like to develop a model of what we consider a high quality information exchange/curation hub around our focus issues.
Plans for 2013
There is a procedure to understanding a topic; we start with what we know (which may be nothing), find and understand new facts, check if what we believe is still logically coherent, if not then root out and reconcile the imprecisions and misunderstandings, reflect on our new perspective, and repeat. We must also always keep in mind that our basic assumptions might also be wrong, and try to revisit those from time to time. We do not know of an information outlet that structurally facilitates this process.
With that in mind, we would like to rebuild our website to have the following features:
Content aggregation: Mainstream and alternative outlets alike tend to try to re-brand facts or breaking events as being tied up with their particular brand, often ignoring easily accessible relevant background information. On many important topics, there is an abundance of good information and good analysis already available in the public record. If we are to be a useful resource on any topic, we must be able to efficiently find high-quality relevant to our focus issues. We are currently developing tools to aggregate news more efficiently.
Community wiki: We wanted to make lists of alternative media and journalists doing amazing work around the world, interesting projects, useful resources and tools, tutorials, and so on. For example, we want to have a common place where our readers and writers can go to find tutorials on data visualization tools, open source intel methods, stuff that could be of immediate use for building skills that we would like to build internally. Moreover, students often pay hundreds of pounds to get practical experience with these things, but we would like to learn and help others learn, and hopefully cultivate some community experience with these things.
Follow-up/message board: Without accountability, cultural norms shift for the worse. At the same time, the market value of ‘real time news’ is quite high; people make money off of being the first to know about world events that have an impact on trade, oil prices, and so on. We think it’s important, for certain issues, to keep an eye on accountability initiatives, to organize information around them, keep up on their status, and so on. In practice, we are making a message board dedicated to this. We will also follow how leaks are used in courtrooms.
Content creation: We would like to produce content illustrating our own standard and style of writing. For analysis/research pieces, we will implement a peer review process; any article which is narrow in scope (so as to be comprehensive), intellectually honest, and backed up with verifiably true facts beyond reasonable doubt, submitted by anyone (named or anonymous) will be published after one or two rounds of revision. The peer review is intended to give writers feedback. We will also have a blogging section and an essays section of our website. For more on how to contribute, click here.
The following texts contain important concepts behind our editorial philosophy and project goals.
- Howard Zinn, Secrecy, archives, and the public interest (1977).
- Howard Zinn, A people’s history of the United States (introduction).
- Eli Parser, Beware the online filter bubble (TED talk).
- Jay Rosen, Audience Atomization Overcome: Why the Internet Weakens the Authority of the Press
- Jay Rosen, Mounting costs for the default model of trust production in American newsrooms
- Principles of journalism.