I have to say what nearly fifty thousand Twitter followers already know: nobody does a better job of following and writing about what’s going on in journalism than Jay Rosen. The dude just nails it, over and over and over again.
His latest, From Judith Miller to Julian Assange: Our press somehow got itself on the wrong side of secrecy after September 11th, puts the whole Wikileaks matter in the the closest thing we have to an objective view. That is, anchored here: outside the mainstream media. In this Vimeo, he says The watchdog press has died. We have this instead.
It’s true. We now have the Watchdog Web.* It’s not well-behaved, but it has good reason to snarl and shit in the house. Howard Stern nailed it earlier this week when he weighed in on the side of Wikileaks: we have too much secrecy, not enough transparency, and too many collateral effects of secrecy that cause more harm than good — and the mainstream press has abandoned its post. (And before some of you dismiss the source, be careful not to confuse Howard’s X-rated humor with his serious commentary. As long-time listeners know, he’s one helluva sharp observer of politics and much more. And it rocks that his show was just renewed on SiriusXM for another five years. By the way, in announcing his return, Howard said he’d take Jeff Jarvis‘ recommendations seriously. Jeff is a frequent guest on the show.)
Here are Jay’s latest tweets, all more than worth reading (amazed here that I can copy and paste this in WordPress, but with a little HTML hacking, it sort of works):
Important. Law professor and ex-Bush Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith: Thoughts on Wikileaks. http://jr.ly/6cdf
5. Everything a journalist learns that he cannot tell the public alienates him from that public. Wikileaks tries to minimize this.#pdfleaks
4. The state has a monopoly on the legal use of force. But it can have no monopoly on the legitimate use of digital “force.” #pdfleaks
3. The watchdog press died. More viable today is a distributed “eye on power” that includes the old press as one component part.#pdfleaks
2. The sources are voting with their leaks. That they go to Wikileaks rather than the newspapers says something about the papers.#pdfleaks
1. It takes “the world’s first stateless news organization”http://jr.ly/5jnk
to show our news organizations how statist they are#pdfleaks
I’m going to post to Twitter the five major points I made in my presentation to the #pdfleaks
symposium in New York today. Here they are…
Here’s the highest respect I can give to Jay’s authority on this stuff: he’s changed my mind. Many times. The first for sure was when he took one line of mine, from this blog post back in 2003 — “Blogging is about making and changing minds” — and ran with it, as did his readers. Which he’s been doing ever since, better and better, with every post, every tweet, every Rebooting the News (with Dave Winer, another veteran at changing my mind).
As Scoop Nisker so perfectly puts it, “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.”
*By the way, WatchdogWeb.org wasn’t taken when I checked, so I just bought it. If you want it, Jay, it’s yours. If you don’t, I’ll give it to whoever you think can do the most with it.