View Poll Results: Does WikiLeaks Qualify as "press"?

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  • Yes

    37 68.52%
  • No

    16 29.63%
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    1 1.85%
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Thread: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

  1. #41
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Of course they are. WL is doing exactly what the press is supposed to do. Disseminating information to keep governments in check. That is the exact task for which the press exists, and why the press is guaranteed freedom in the first amendment. To claim that WL is not part of the press is to fundamentally misunderstand the purpose of a free press.

    Look at it this way, publishing Watergate was free press. It was the uncovering of a criminal act by an elected official. That's exactly what WL is doing.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    WL is exposing us to hard truths, question is, what will be done with it? I suspect we have already become so jaded that the stench from WL will soon blow away and we will forget about it.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by UtahBill View Post
    I forget the name of the book I was reading, but IIRC it was written by a well known reporter, and in it he advocated the idea of the press being an additional branch of government, with the primary responsibility of keeping the public informed of everything that the other branches are doing..on a daily basis...or real time transparency.
    Our founding fathers considered the Press to be the watchdog of the government. So in a sense they are.
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  4. #44
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Well, that was easy enough:

    In Lovell v. City of Griffin, 303 U.S. 444 (1938), Chief Justice Hughes:



    FindLaw | Cases and Codes

    Obviously, there are differences between a periodical, a newspaper, a pamphlet, and an online blog. BUT, wikileaks seems to be covered by Chief Justice Hughes' definition of: "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion."

    I mean...it would be difficult to argue that wikileaks isn't a vehicle of information. And thus, it's rights to publish are protected as "the press" in American law.

    What bothers me is how thin people's commitments to the bill of rights apparently are. And yes, I'm talking to you, Nancy Pelosi.
    The issue with this Catz is I believe the term "publication" and how broad you want to make it.

    If an online site is considered a publication, then based on what you said "Debate Politics" is part of "The Press". Its something that's put forward that acts as a vehicle for the dissimination of opinion and information.

    Does that make us all journalists?

  5. #45
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    The issue with this Catz is I believe the term "publication" and how broad you want to make it.

    If an online site is considered a publication, then based on what you said "Debate Politics" is part of "The Press". Its something that's put forward that acts as a vehicle for the dissimination of opinion and information.

    Does that make us all journalists?
    Posts on Debate Politics would certainly be protected. We don't have complete freedom of speech here, of course, because we are subject to the rules of the site. But without rules by the site owners, the government couldn't step in and censor us.

    I think we're so busy being mad at Wiki that we fail to see the bigger picture. Our government completely FAILED. Who is being taken to task for that truth? The usual answer....nobody.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by hallam View Post
    They kind of did break into the governments house. This was classified materials and there as laws in place protecting classified materials. Because they were classified, it not public information. It falls under confidentiality rules no matter if the entity that owns the documents in public.

    I might add that the espionage law essentially makes it illegal to have the documents if the government hasn't given you permission. So Wikileaks did illegally obtain the documents and the death penalty is on the table.
    Yeah, well, good luck trying to get ANY European nation to extradite anyone who may face the death penalty anywhere.
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  7. #47
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by hallam View Post
    They kind of did break into the governments house. This was classified materials and there as laws in place protecting classified materials. Because they were classified, it not public information. It falls under confidentiality rules no matter if the entity that owns the documents in public.

    I might add that the espionage law essentially makes it illegal to have the documents if the government hasn't given you permission. So Wikileaks did illegally obtain the documents and the death penalty is on the table.
    Manning did, but Wikileaks didn't. Furthermore, Assange isn't a US citizen and has no obligation to honor our laws. If he was, then damn near every government agent here from other countries would be under indictment for sharing discussions had here with their governments or any other governments.

    By agent I do not mean "spies," per se, but as we've learned many level of government representatives collect information and opinions on each other.
    Last edited by Summerwind; 12-09-10 at 10:13 AM.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    As for the OP's question, yes, I think Wikileaks can absolutely qualify as "the press". They don't really do anything different than a normal newspaper would do, except that they're less scared of the consequences of publishing stuff that governments may not like, seeing as they operate under no government at all.
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

  9. #49
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Another question: does US protection of a free press include foreign websites? The claim has been made repeatedly that Assange is not American, and therefore not bound by US law. Does he then also not get the same protections of US law?
    Assange is Australian. The website is currently hosted in Switzerland. Both countries guarantee freedom of the press. It really doesn't matter if American law applies or not. I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you mean should the US disregard its own laws in case you get your hands on Assange?
    "Yes, but are you a Protestant atheist or a Catholic atheist?".- Northern Irish joke

  10. #50
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Posts on Debate Politics would certainly be protected. We don't have complete freedom of speech here, of course, because we are subject to the rules of the site. But without rules by the site owners, the government couldn't step in and censor us.
    However Free Speech is different than Freedom of the Press. I wasn't necessarily asking if our rights to free speech exist on DP, but whether or not DP would be considered part of "The Press"

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