Friday, October 29, 2010

Wiki Whaaat?

Before the last couple of weeks I had no idea what Wiki leaks was, and after our discussion/ mini debate on media framing I’m still pretty ignorant about the whole scope of it, but I don’t know how much I like it. A lot of the readings and discussion have dealt with the deliverance of media and the bias that is thrown in during production, delivery and digestion of media content. Wiki leaks is supposedly all about the triumph of freedom of speech and press and delivering information of the public that they would be unable to receive from other media outlets. I understand that framing of a new story can greatly impact the outcome of a situation, especially in terms of national disasters and tragedies, but I don’t think wiki leaks or their purpose escapes media framing as much as they might wish.
Kumar’s article dealt with the sovereignty tension between nation states and media sources and the Iraq/Iran wiki leak controversy brings this issue strongly into the forefront, maybe more so than Google. The question will always be where to draw the line, between personal freedom and nation state security. Except now the issue is not a matter of what pictures a Chinese citizen and an American citizen will see when they both “Google” Tiananmen Square, the line may actually have people’s lives on it.
My general impression is that these media orgs, Google, Wiki and the like aren’t putting forth the same efforts as nation states in terms of negotiating and giving Kumar’s supra-national governing sphere some real power. Wiki leaks releasing of soo many documents obviously did its job in a way in reporting some pretty shady state sanctioned actions but I wonder what the human consequences will end up being and if wiki served the public well in that sense. Nation states attempts to regulate media might come from a place of self preservation, but sometimes these new media’s complete resistance to regulation might do more harm than good. Not that their resistance is another kind of framing, but similarly, the controversy they generate going to toe to toe with government attracts a whole new following. When does that start to change the way you produce, package and deliver? I obviously have no conclusions drawn about the matter, but I just don’t feel that the release of this kind of information was without framing, or that more information = more good.

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