Slipping Secrets: Transparency or Demise?
October 18, 2018
In 2010, WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization that publishes submissions from anonymous whistleblowers, in a partnership with some of the most important news publications, began releasing thousands of classified diplomatic cables sent between the U.S. State Department and consulates and embassies around the world. Three years later, former National Security Agency subcontractor Edward Snowden leaked top secret information about surveillance activities by the NSA. More recently, the Panama Papers became the biggest data leak in the history of journalism: over 11 million documents containing financial information about offshore entities were revealed.
Does the big leak era signal that transparency has replaced fairness as journalism’s main paradigm? Does this mark the imminent decline of the journalism format and the rise of a new form of communicating information through interactive, opinion-based, interest-driven networks of corporations and individuals?
Journalist Santiago O’Donnell, author of ArgenLeaks, led the evening's dialogue about the era of big leaks. NYU DC Academic Writing Specialist, Alicia Gleason, joined O'Donnell in the discussion.
Santiago O’Donnell is a guest lecturer at NYU Buenos Aires and is former L.A.Times and Washington Post staff writer and a graduate of Notre Dame (BA Intl. Rel.) and USC (MA Intl. Jour.). Currently working as the foreign editor of Página 12 newspaper in Argentina and as director of the Journalism Masters program at Universidad de Buenos Aires, he is the author of four books and numerous articles published different media outlets around the world.
Alicia L. Gleason earned her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from George Mason University, where she was a teaching fellow. She writes short stories, flash fiction, and is at work on her first novel. Her fiction was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Shelley A. Marshall Fiction Contest, and has appeared in Cleaver Magazine and Oblong. Alicia has taught writing and literature classes at George Washington University, and George Mason University. She finds that her work as a professional writer (or perhaps more accurately, as a professional reviser of her drafts) serves as a helpful model for students as they develop writing habits and techniques that acknowledge the power of revision. Alicia earned her BA from Colgate University and is TEFL certified.