Monday, April 25, 2011

[pima.nius] Good advice on how to deal with leaks

3:11 PM |

via Pacific Journos


This is from an article in The Guardian (UK) on wikileaks by its editor Alan Rusbridger - I thought it might be worth circulating in relation to our recent debate on the Solomon Islands "Intel" report and how the Solomon Star handled it. In particular I draw attention to the last sentence of Max Frankel's second point from his memo.
 
Sean
 
"Each news organisation grappled with the ethical issues involved in such contacts – and in the overall decision to publish – in different ways. I was interested, a few days after the start of the Cablegate release, to receive an email from Max Frankel, who had overseen the defence of the New York Times in the Pentagon papers case 40 years earlier. Now 80, he sent me a memo he had then written to the New York Times public editor. It is worth quoting as concise and wise advice to future generations who may well have to grapple with such issues more in future:
 
1. My view has almost always been that information which wants to get out will get out; our job is to receive it responsibly and to publish or not by our own unvarying news standards.
 
2. If the source or informant violates his oath of office or the law, we should leave it to the authorities to try to enforce their law or oath, without our collaboration. We reject collaboration or revelation of our sources for the larger reason that ALL our sources deserve to know that they are protected with us. It is, however, part of our obligation to reveal the biases and apparent purposes of the people who leak or otherwise disclose information.
 
3. If certain information seems to defy the standards proclaimed by the supreme court in the Pentagon papers case ie that publication will cause direct, immediate and irreparable damage we have an obligation to limit our publication appropriately. If in doubt, we should give appropriate authority a chance to persuade us that such direct and immediate danger exists. (See our 24-hour delay of discovery of Soviet missiles in Cuba as described in my autobiography, or our delay in reporting planes lost in combat until the pilots can perhaps be rescued.)
 
4. For all other information, I have always believed that no one can reliably predict the consequences of publication. The Pentagon papers, contrary to Ellsberg's wish, did not shorten the Vietnam war or stir significant additional protest. A given disclosure may embarrass government but improve a policy, or it may be a leak by the government itself and end up damaging policy. "Publish and be damned," as Scotty Reston used to say; it sounds terrible but as a journalistic motto it has served our society well through history."

--
You are receiving this post as a valuable member of the "Pacific Island Journos Online" group, or because someone on the network shared it. That's OK. We believe in Pacific diversity and debate on the issues that unite and divide us as a media industry.
 
DISCLAIMER: Did a post from the Pacificmedia (PIJO) group please or offend you? Please be warned. This is an unmoderated list. Responsbility for all content and language used in posts rests with the individual contributing it. This means anyone reading a message from the Pacific Islands Journalists Online discussion group should clearly understand whatever they have received, directly or otherwise, should not be understood as a position or endorsement by the online network.
 
Member only EMAIL: pacificmedia@googlegroups.com
WEBlink: http://groups.google.co.nz/group/pacificmedia?hl=en
LEAVING us? Send an email to pacificmedia-unsubscribe@googlegroups.com



--
----------------------------------------
pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
----------------------------------------
The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information regarding the Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA). Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications to keep you informed about aspects of the media industry. 

These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them. 

--
----------------------------------------
pacific islands media association
pima.nius@gmail.com
aotearoa, new zealand
----------------------------------------
The pima.nius googlegroup is a facility for discussion and distributing information. Content sent by this googlegroup are forwarded from various networks and media publications.
 
DISCLAIMER: These emails are unedited and discussions made through this googlegroup are unmoderated. Announcements made through this googlegroup do not constitute endorsement for the organisations, individuals or opinions featured. Please check the integrity of organisations and individuals before exchanging personal information with them.
 
- - - - - - - - -
comment here:
http://groups.google.com/group/pima-nius/topics?hl=en
 
send an email comment here:
pima-nius@googlegroups.com
 
unsubscribe:
pima-nius+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com
 
more options
http://groups.google.com/group/pima-nius?hl=en?hl=en
 
- - - - - - - - -

0 comments: