Monday, 6 December 2010

WikiLeaks losing 'whistleblower' branding in US

Several top news organisation in the US are now balking at describing WikiLeaks as a "whistleblower," according to news blog The Cutline.

It says that the Associated Press used "whistleblower" as late as last Thursday in describing WikiLeaks but has since opted against it.

"We've had 'whistleblower' in some copy but have decided not to use it any longer," AP spokesman Paul Colford told The Cutline. "Our description now reflects the site's own name: a website that specializes in displaying leaked information."

NBC News spokeswoman Lauren Kapp also told The Cutline that the network was retiring "whistleblower" in its WikiLeaks reports.

Erin Kurtz, a spokeswoman for the international news agency Reuters also told The Cutline: "Our style guidelines ask that reporters not describe WikiLeaks as a whistleblower."

The Cutline said: "The term 'whistleblower' is typically reserved for someone within, say, a corporation or government agency that risks their career to speak out against corruption or fraud. It may just seem like a semantic issue, but how the media describes WikiLeaks can affect public perceptions of the organization. A whistleblower is most likely viewed positively, as an individual speaking out against wrongdoing."

The Cutline, which has has described WikiLeaks as an "online whistleblower" in some previous posts, added that if anyone was to be desribed as a whistleblower it would more accurately be Bradley Manning, the imprisoned soldier believed to be responsible for the leak since he allegedly committed the action while in the US Army.

Via Greg Mitchell on Twitter

1 comment:

Tampa Design Guy said...

These leaks are ripping apart the US government & it's views of other nations. No point in discussing about Whistle-blower or Online Whistle-blower.