As we await the outcome in the Bradley Manning court martial (he leaked 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks), several pieces articulate the potential impact on journalists and on civilians. Brian Wong, writing for Wonkblog, says a finding that Manning aided the enemy will make it much easier for the government to pursue similar cases with civilians. While Wong does not believe the Obama Administration is ready to prosecute journalists for publishing leaked information, Gloria Goodale, writing for Christian Science Monitor, says the main takeaway on the case could be a chilling effect on investigative journalism.
Michael Getler, the ombudsman for PBS, weighs in on the firing this week of Sabah readers' editor Yavuz Baydar for his columns criticizing the government and media in Turkey. Getler notes these are not great times for ombudsmen worldwide, particularly in the United States, due to economic restraints in media. "But axing ombudsmen for cost reasons, or some other explanation, is one thing. Firing an ombudsman for attacking press coverage is quite another, especially in the midst of turmoil," he writes.
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist and craigconnects.org, writes for Huffington Post on media trust. He concludes there are plenty of guidelines but very little accountability. He argues for fuller documentation of reporting and far more more fact-checking. The effort is important for the "national survival," he concludes.
The Onion has produced an obituary of the print medium, which it said has passed away at the age of 1,803.