Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

WikiLeaks spurns NYT, but newspaper still gets hands on whistle-blower site's secret Guantanamo Files



Despite speculation that WikiLeaks' next bombshell would be related to the U.S. banking system, the whistleblower website instead has released the "Gitmo Files," the latest secret document disclosure from WikiLeaks, reported The Telegraph in the UK, The New York Times, NPR and others.

On Sunday, April 24, WikiLeaks began publishing 779 secret files on the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention camp. WikiLeaks said it will release details on every detainee each day for the next month.

The Huffington Post provided a backstory on the WikiLeaks document release, explaining that on Sunday night, media outlets from the United States and Europe were racing to be the first to publish the information. This time, unlike with previous information leaks, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange did not provide the documents ahead of time to the NY Times and The Guardian -- he has cut ties with both news outlets after feuding with the NY Times.

Instead, Assange provided the embargoed information to McClatchy Newspapers, the Washington Post, and The Telegraph, said the HuffPo. Still, the NY Times managed to get the WikiLeaks information from an "anonymous" source, which it then shared with The Guardian and NPR. The Guardian said it was "double-crossed" by WikiLeaks and Assange, according to journalism.co.uk.

WikiLeaks catapulted to international attention in 2010 when it published classified documents related to the war in Afganistan. That release was followed up with secret files on the Iraq war and then publication of secret diplomatic cables.

Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of releasing the documents to WikiLeaks, is being held in Fort Leavenworth Prison in Kansas, CNN said. The United States also is puting together a case against Assange, who recently was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.


Other Related Headlines:
» The Montreal Gazette (Free speech in the age of 9/11, Twitter and Wikileaks)

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