Rana Sweis


April 2014 Newsletter

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In this month's newsletter, I focus on the controversy facing the media industry since the release of classified documents such as Wikileaks. The selection of articles and videos here will bring you to the core of this matter and will hint at the implications it has on the future of media and journalism in this critical time. You can also download the Open Society Foundations Mapping Digital Media report on Jordan which covers the country's advancements in moving from analogue to digital media.




March 2014 - RanaSweis.com

Classified information and JournalismClassified information disclosed to journalists by whistleblowers has become a primary source for investigative adversarial journalism that exposes the wrongdoings and crimes of the governments worldwide.  However, recently journalists who used such information in their work have been harassed and even prosecuted by government officials who insist that using stolen classified information is illegal. Many journalists have been accused of illegal activity since then.  What will happen now when the leaked classified information has already shed a light on so many wrongdoings and crimes, and when journalistic work based on such information is valued by a large audience that wants to be informed about issues like mass surveillance, covert wars overseas and many more? This month's newsletter attempts to explore these questions through some articles shared here.

WikiLeaks and the Espionage Act of 1917

Since the foundation of the Wikileaks till the most recent cases of the classified information disclosure, journalists in the U.S, as well as all over the world, have pursued stories based on the classified documents. Can the U.S. government make it a crime for journalists to use classified information in their work, especially when such reposting uncovers issues and problems of which the public would not know otherwise?

The NSA files and the network effect

The modern leak needs a new kind of reporting, and news organisations are adapting by finding collaborations of scale. As stated by this Guardian media blog: "The impact of the NSA files will reverberate for a generation. It has already forced a re-evaluation of the relationship between powerful technology and telephone companies, the government and the consumer. It has raised the issue of digital human rights and how to control a covert surveillance state. It has made the internet potentially unstable and untrustworthy."

"Criminalizing journalism"

Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who broke the story about NSA surveillance based on classified information provided to him by whistleblower Edward Snowden, talks about the increasing government pressure on journalists who pursue stories based on secret documents.

The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Download the Jordan report here.

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