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New Republic Report: "Incredible" -- October 25, 2016

------------- "​Incredible" Republic Update Monday October 24, 2016 ​-------------​ OK, so your much prayed for RV is ti...

Monday, April 11, 2016

Shift in Mainstream Media Journalism After Panama Papers Leak

Panama Papers Leak Signals a Shift in Mainstream Journalism

"Four years passed between The New York Times’s first article based on the Pentagon Papers and the end of the Vietnam War.

Two years passed between The Washington Post’s first story establishing Richard M. Nixon’s link to the Watergate burglary and Nixon’s resignation from the presidency.

Last week, Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson of Iceland couldn’t make it 48 hours before having to step aside after the disclosure of the shady bank dealings contained in the Panama Papers, some of which involve him.

O.K., I know: It’s just Iceland, remote and adorably tiny. Who knew it had a government position higher than forstodumadur Fiskistofa (director of Fisheries)? Kidding, Iceland, kidding! I understand how you’re at the center of something bigger than both your country and mine, and I promise that you won’t be mad at me by the time you’re done reading this.

Because while we Americans were transfixed by the latest plot turns in our presidential campaign, you and the rest of the world were living through the biggest corporate data leak in history. It had reverberations not only in Iceland, but in China, Britain, Russia, Argentina and some 50 other countries.

But the leak signaled something else that was a big deal but went unheralded: The official WikiLeaks-ization of mainstream journalism; the next step in the tentative merger between the Fourth Estate, with its relatively restrained conventional journalists, and the Fifth Estate, with the push-the-limits ethos of its blogger, hacker and journo-activist cohort, in the era of gargantuan data breaches.

Back at the dawn of this new, Big Breach journalism, The Times’s then-executive editor, Bill Keller, wondered aloud in the paper’s Sunday magazine whether “The War Logs,” a huge cache of confidential war records and diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks in conjunction with The Times, Der Spiegel, The Guardian and others, represented “some kind of cosmic triumph of transparency.” He concluded, “I suspect we have not reached a state of information anarchy, at least not yet.” That was in 2011.

Five years later, it is safe to say that we are getting much closer. This is changing the course of world history, fast. It is also changing the rules for mainstream journalists in the fierce business of unearthing secrets, and for the government and corporate officials in the fiercer business of keeping them..."

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