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

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    37 68.52%
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Thread: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

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    Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Simple question, but harder to answer I think. When we think of the "press", we tend to think of newspapers and more recently, TV news. So what constitutes an organization being part of the "press" with the benefits that implies, and does WikiLeaks qualify?

    edit: Poll finished.
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    It's a form of print media so I don't know why it wouldn't be press.

    It doesn't follow the principles of ethical journalism, but really who does anymore?

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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Simple question, but harder to answer I think. When we think of the "press", we tend to think of newspapers and more recently, TV news. So what constitutes an organization being part of the "press" with the benefits that implies, and does WikiLeaks qualify?

    edit: Poll finished.
    I don't think that it's hard to answer myself. I think that they should be considered as part of the "press". To me the "press" is any organization that disseminates information to the masses that is truthful and accurate.
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    What characteristics must a news organization meet, historically speaking, to be protected by the first amendment?

    This would make an awesome research project for someone.

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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Mmm, this is a hard question. I think it really depends if you classify someone who is leaking classified documents the press.

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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    since their infomation was gathered illegally, I don't think they should be considered part of the press. at least not if you are using that status to imply that they have a constitutional right to release said information.

    all the info wikileaks has can, in a way, be considered stolen property. it was classified information. the young PVT broke the law and numerous regulations by copying and releasing it.

    wikileaks should return any and all information from this source to its rightful owner.



    what if I was able, somehow, to hack into this forum's database and access everyone's IP and email addresses and then I started a website called DPleaks and publically posted any and all personal information on members here that I could find?

    would I be considered "press"?
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    I would say no because they just seem to be a data warehouse. They don't talk about the documents they release; they just release them to other press entities.

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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Kal'Stang View Post
    To me the "press" is any organization that disseminates information to the masses that is truthful and accurate.
    so if a I and a bunch of my buddies broke into your house one night and stole your birth cert, driver's license, SS card, etc. and disseminated it to the masses, we would be the "press"?

    the information is truthful and accurate.

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    how far would pleading the 1st amendment get me?
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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Well, that was easy enough:

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

    The liberty of the press is not confined to newspapers and periodicals. It necessarily embraces pamphlets and leaflets. These indeed have been historic weapons in the defense of liberty, as the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and others in our own history abundantly attest. The press in its connotation comprehends every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion. What we have had recent occasion to say with respect to the vital importance of protecting this essential liberty from every sort of infringement need not be repeated. Near v. Minnesota, supra; Grosjean v. American Press Company, supra; De Jonge v. Oregon, supra. 2
    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.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 12-08-10 at 06:26 PM.

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    Re: Should WikiLeaks be considered part of the Press

    Wikileaks is as much a part of the press as is, The Crusader, or, The Final Call
    Last edited by apdst; 12-08-10 at 06:27 PM.
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