The value of Wikileaks

by Francesc de Dalmases and Víctor Terradellas

Untitled-1The traditional media have been one of the sectors most affected by the global crisis which we are all experiencing. Leading newspaper publishers and radio and TV broadcasters of the second half of the twentieth century have been gravely affected by the crisis and by changes in the habits both in the consumption and diffusion of information originating from changes in information and communication technology.

 

No one can deny that access to such unheard of quantities of information has turned us into a better informed, more aware audience

As a result, media groups that have traditionally been well-consolidated have seen themselves obliged to revise their structures and sell shares to financial organisations who, beyond a business opportunity, see a chance to influence the content of the product. These two events have led to a significant loss in the overall quality of the information for consumers.

To make up for this state of affairs, the web provides us with an

infinity of channels that allow us to access at first hand information that is continually generated in whatever part of the world that happens to be connected. This is undoubtedly an invaluable source of data with which to validate and amplify our information universe. It is also worth noting that it is a source which calls for a certain degree of intelligence on behalf of the users who have to be capable of distinguishing information from opinion, propaganda or that  which is simply news which has been adulterated to serve vested interests.

It is in this context that we should evaluate the exact significance of the Wikileaks website run by the controversial Julian Assange and what it signifies. We shall need all our critical thinking skills in order to find out how, thanks to who and when he could access such secret and privileged information as is currently on offer; a look at his public friends and enemies allows us to better define and outline Assange’s personality and motivation. No one can deny, however, that access to such unheard of quantities of information (secret documents that are clearly authentic) has turned us into a better informed, more aware audience. Or at least a less ignorant one.

From this point of view, Wikileaks is a privileged, unrestricted  source of information which adds to and clarifies many of the questions that have marked and will go on to mark the international agenda at the start of the twenty-first century.

We are conscious of the quantity of dark chambers which hide  behind the formality of Western democracies and we should be grateful, though discerning and critical, of all the information and documentary evidence which serves to illuminate them.

Article publicat a: http://www.international-view.cat/PDF/civ%208/civ%208%20To%20Our%20Readers.pdf

 

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