Time magazine has published in full an interview it carried out with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange on Tuesday (30 November) following this week’s release of secret and confidential diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.
In the interview, which is carried out by Time editor Richard Stengel via Skype, Assange discussed the impact of the release so far.
I can see that the media scrutiny and the reaction from government are so tremendous that it actually eclipses our ability to understand it. And I think there is a new story appearing, a new, original story appearing about once every two minutes somewhere around the world.
He also talks about social media, adding that the wider online community has not been as involved in the “heavy analytical lifting” of the data as he expected, this role instead taken on by professional journalists.
The bulk of the heavy lifting – heavy analytical lifting – that is done with our materials is done by us, and is done by professional journalists we work with and by professional human rights activists. It is not done by the broader community. However, once the initial lifting is done, once a story becomes a story, becomes a news article, then we start to see community involvement, which digs deeper and provides more perspective. So the social networks tend to be, for us, an amplifier of what we are doing.