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WikiLeaks and Journalist's Response

In the 1970s Daniel Ellsberg became known as "the most dangerous man in America." Ellsberg is known for publishing the Pentagon Papers. Some people believe that he is a revolutionist and are grateful for what he exposed, others believe that he is a traitor to America. For those who aren't aware of Ellsberg trial read up on it here.

Currently the most talked about topic (especially amongst New England School of Communications [NESCOM] students and professors) has been WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has become the "leak resource."

During Ed Rice's Writing & Reporting at NESCom he discussed and compared how the WikiLeaks and Pentagon Papers are related. How should journalists respond to this? Should the journalists that are given these classified documents feel obligated to publish them? 

During Ellsberg's trial the two questions that were posed in order to decide whether or not what he did was illegal were: could the American people understand the documents as they were (meaning without having to look up terms or have the documents explained) and is this a threat to our national security? The answer to both of those questions was no.

Today, journalists are put on the spot as to whether or not it's okay to be posting these documents. Rice believes that if the two aforementioned questions are answered with a no, then the American people should be informed and these documents should be shared. 

Have there been documents posted that answer yes to either of those questions, and should Americans be worrying about documents that could potentially harm the security of other nations?

In Thursday, December 2, 2010's class with Rice students will be bringing in examples that they believe should not have been published (if there are any). This post is a prelude to the post that will be made on Thursday and more in-depth information will be shared. 

How will this impact the future of journalism? Wait and see.

Also posted at Zennie62.com

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