Reporting Private chatter from live mics: good for mass media, bad for wikileaks?


The Netanyahu fan club didn’t know that they were being recorded…

Picking up chatter from live mics and then recounting to the public is no different than what WikiLeaks does:

A staff member reportedly explained that the headphones to go with the translation sets were not yet being handed out because this would have allowed journalists to listen in on the private conversation still going on. Half a dozen journalists immediately plugged in their own headphones and caught three minutes of the private exchange.

The conversation apparently began with Obama criticising Sarkozy for not warning the US that France would vote in favour of the Palestinians’ application to join Unesco, the United Nations agency for culture and education.

One French journalist told ArrĂȘt Sur Images that the conversation was broadcast for around three minutes before officials realised the mistake. Another told the website that the reporters agreed not to publicise the remarks because of their sensitive nature.

via Sarkozy and Obama’s Netanyahu gaffe broadcast via microphones | World news | The Guardian

WikiLeaks had it’s problems (namely protecting sources), but they just focused on this type of journalism: getting people with access to information hidden by the powerful to release documents that eliminate the truth.