Wikileaks are they really just traditional media?

Wikileaks has taken the world by storm by allowing access to a vast number of cables from around the globe sharing confidential Government documents. Wikileaks became primarily  known through their leaking of the United States of America’s drone attack on innocent civilians that also killed two Reuters Journalists. They present their cables online without embellishments or editing the content, they simply present the the information which they have obtained directly from the source.  This  is where the question is posed about whether Wikileaks is a media organisation?

This is a hard question to answer as Wikileaks represent’s both a non media organisation and a media organisation at the same time. I believe this argument is well developed and explored in Coddington (2012).  Coddington (2012) presents  Wikileaks to be intimidating to current media foundations through  the Times quote there they  find the Wikileaks to be “Journalistically deviant” and ceasing their partnership with Wikileaks in regards to reporting stories. This partnership limits the arguments for Wikileaks being a media organisation as in this instance they are conveying a free lance media group whom are providing media organisations with content to report on.

Coddington (2012) also presents three professional journalism dimensions that Wikileaks has violated:

  • Institutionality
  • Source based reporting routines    and
  • Objectivity

Therefore they are violating modern standards of journalism and would not fall under our current perception of what a media organisation is. I personally  would define Wikileaks as a political protest organisation, however, Coddington (2012) does state that Wikileaks is actually fulfilling the traditional sense  of what journalism is. The traditional sense as stated in Coddington (2012) is finding  the truth regarding important issues for the public interest and publishing this to ensure the public become fully aware and can make informed decisions.

How would one define wikileaks? I believe it is more of a political protest group rather than a media organisation. I view an organisation as a company that is merely concerned to make a profit and to construct the news to ensure they receive an audience. Though Coddington (2012) presents a sound argument; Wikileaks are portraying a traditional sense of what journalism is. This is perhaps a debate which has no conclusion.



Coddington, M 2012, “Defending a Paradigm by Patrolling a Boundary: Two Global Newspapers Approach to WikiLeaks”, Jouranlism and Mass Communication Quarterly, vol. 89, no. 3, pp.377-9


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