Wikileaks uses a revolutionary model of journalism in their attempt at making transformative changes to the complex societal framework we all live in- a framework that excludes and corrupts the rights of many human beings.
Any individual, organisation or movement that is successful in disrupting and displacing hegemonic power will experience attacks designed to discredit and ultimately to silence them. This is a complex element of how societal frameworks maintain themselves, and why we need to keep ever-vigilant in up-holding democracy. The smear-campaigns used as an attempt to dilute/distract from the work of Wikileaks are in some sense both a predictable consequence of and a sign of the importance of the ethical intent of the organisation. The propaganda model offered by Chomsky and Herman (read more about this at Wikipedia) explains this in some detail.
While it is important to not let the smear-campaigns distract us from the importance of the Leaks themselves, it is equally important to arm ourselves with facts that discredit the myths and slander that are being offered in the mainstream media.
Much of the attack on Wikileaks have come via personal attacks on Julian Assange, as editor in chief and main public front for Wikileaks. The manner in which this case is being handled, both by the Swedish Judicial system and the mainstream media, points heavily to the politicisation of events which Julian Assange himself disputes.
You can find factual evidence that counter the smear attacks here:
– Christine Assange’s Talking points
– Common misconceptions of the Assange case at Wikileaks Central
– Submission to the Leveson Inquiry
– Agreed facts: AssangeVSweden
What you can do
Once you have acquainted yourself with as much information as possible about Wikileaks, the Assange case and the criticisms, the most important thing you can do is form your own opinion. Your next step should be to share this opinion with others- open dialogue is a democratic necessity.
Steps you can take to counter the smears:
– make sure you correct factual inaccuracies; even if you are not taking a definitive stance on whether Wikileaks is of cultural importance it is vital that we deal in facts rather than mythology. Intellectually we are all that much stronger when we are held accountable for the accuracy of our beliefs.
– write to your local/national newspaper and pick them up on inaccuracies
– consider writing your own article on your website/blog countering the smears
– ‘retweet’ and ‘like’ tweets and posts that rectify inaccuracies among your followers/friends
– consider using your school/college/university assignments as opportunities to explore the mainstream reactions to movements such as Wikileaks