Information Abundance and Media Credibility in a Fragmented Public Sphere
WikiLeaks strives to inspire grassroots activism and facilitate political change by revealing the secrets of powerful interests. Its early strategies included recruiting citizens to interpret and distribute leaked information, and the pioneering of “scientific journalism”. These efforts were plagued by problems of information overabundance and ultimately proved insufficient for countering the influence of dominant ideology on media discourse. WikiLeaks may address mass audiences by cooperating with major news organizations while sacrificing its radical agenda, or operate independently, preserving its mission while risking irrelevance. The dilemmas facing WikiLeaks are compounded due to the increasing fragmentation of the public sphere, and related attempts by industry to cultivate disparate “truth markets”.
KeywordsInformation abundance Activism Journalism Interpretation Ideology Truth markets
- Assange, Julian. 2006. Conspiracy as Governance. me @ iq.org: 1–4. http://nakamotoinstitute.org/static/docs/julian-assange-conspiracies.pdf.
- Castells, Manuel. 1997. The Power of Identity. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
- ———. 2013. Communication Power. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Dahlgren, Peter, and Michael Gurevitch. 2005. Political Communication in a Changing World. In Mass Media and Society, ed. James Curran and Michael Gurevitch, 375–393. London: Hodder Arnold.Google Scholar
- Dean, Jodi. 2002. Publicity’s Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
- Ellul, Jacques. 1965. Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
- Fish, Adam, and Luca Follis. 2016. Gagged and Doxed: Hacktivism’s Self-Incrimination Complex. International Journal of Communication 10: 3281–3300. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/5386/1707.Google Scholar
- Giddens, Anthony. 1991. The Consequences of Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Hall, Stuart. 1984. Encoding, Decoding. In Culture, Media, Language, ed. Stuart Hall, Dorothy Hobson, Andrew Lowe, and Paul Willis, 128–139. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
- Hallin, Daniel. 2000. Commercialism and Professionalism in the American News Media. In Mass Media and Society, ed. James Curran and Michael Gurevitch, 218–237. London: Hodder Arnold.Google Scholar
- Harsin, Jayson. 2015. Regimes of Posttruth, Postpolitics, and Attention Economies. Communication, Culture and Critique ISSN: 1735-9129. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.libproxy.stfx.ca/doi/10.1111/cccr.12097/epdf.
- Herman, Edward S., and Noam Chomsky. 1988. Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
- Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor W. Adorno. 2002. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Trans. Edmund Jephcott. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- Lievrouw, Leah A. 2014. WikiLeaks and the Shifting Terrain of Knowledge Authority. International Journal of Communication 8: 2631–2645. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/2667/1240.Google Scholar
- Lippmann, Walter. 1922. Public Opinion. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.Google Scholar
- Lynch, Lisa. 2012. “That’s Not Leaking, It’s Pure Editorial”: WikiLeaks, Scientific Journalism, and Journalistic Expertise. The Canadian Journal of Media Studies (Fall): 40–67. http://cjms.fims.uwo.ca/issues/special/Lynch.pdf.
- Lynch, Lisa. 2014. “Oh, WikiLeaks, I would so love to RT you:” WikiLeaks, Twitter, and Information Activism. International Journal of Communication 8: 2679–2692. http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/viewFile/2665/1236.Google Scholar
- McChesney, Robert W. 2008. The Political Economy of Media: Enduring Issues, Emerging Dilemmas. New York: Monthly Review Press.Google Scholar
- Milan, Stefania. 2013. WikiLeaks, Anonymous and the Exercises of Individuality: Protesting in the Cloud. In Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications of Communications, Journalism and Society, ed. Benedetta Brevini, Arne Hintz, and Patrick McCurdy, 85–100. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Newton, Kenneth. 2006. May the Weak Force Be with You: The Power of the Mass Media in Modern Politics. European Journal of Research 45: 209–234. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-6765.2006.00296.x/full.Google Scholar
- Porter, Gareth. 2014. Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. Charlottesville: Just World Books.Google Scholar
- Roberts, Alasdair. 2011. The WikiLeaks Illusion. The Wilson Quarterly (Summer).Google Scholar
- Russell, Adrienne. 2016. Journalism as Activism: Recoding Media Power. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
- Schudson, Michael. 2001. The Objectivity Norm in American Journalism. Journalism 2 (2): 149–170. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/146488490100200201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- ———. 2003. The Sociology of News. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
- Snickars, Pelle. 2014. Himalaya of Data. International Journal of Communication 8: 2666–2678. http://pellesnickars.se/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/int_journal_communication_snickars_wikileaks1.pdf.Google Scholar
- Steinmetz, Kevin F., and Jurg Gerber. 2015. Hacking the State: Hackers, Technology, Control, Resistance, and the State. In The Routledge International Handbook of the Crimes of the Powerful. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Swift, Art. 2016. Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low. Gallup News, September 14. http://news.gallup.com/poll/195542/americans-trust-mass-media-sinks-new-low.aspx.
- Topnonprofits. 2016. Top Nonprofits on Twitter. August. https://topnonprofits.com/lists/top-nonprofits-on-twitter/.
- Wilhelm, Anthony G. 2000. Democracy in the Digital Age. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar