Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The truth about Wikileaks (for a change)

Twitterers were able to publicize a correction that National Public Radio tried to bury.

The broadcaster's wrote: In recent weeks, NPR hosts, reporters and guests have incorrectly said or implied that WikiLeaks recently has disclosed or released roughly 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables. Although the website has vowed to publish "251,287 leaked United States embassy cables," as of Dec. 28, 2010, only 1,942 of the cables had been released.

By all accounts, the correction was the result of a number of listener complaints to NPR's Ombudsman.

And this is why we need Wikileaks and sites like it. Mainstream media outlets in this country, even the best ones, have a truth telling problem. And while NPR deserves some credit for actually running corrections, unlike most broadcasters, it shows how important it is for people to be watching the self-appointed watchdogs and holding them accountable.

The correction also rubbishes one of the many dubious claims of anti-transparency advocates that Wikileaks is "not showing any restraint." The site has published fewer than 0.8% of the cables it was given.

No comments: