On their website WikiLeaks define itself as “a not-for-profit media organization and our goal is to bring important news and information to the public.” They state that their mission is to “publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth.” Their mission statement on their website respects public and their right to Access information which affect them. This right is number 1 act in many constitutions in most countries and it is Act 61 in Turkey’s constitution. Most journalists have been arguing the issue if Wikileaks is against Media Ethics and most of them say that they cannot find evidence to prove that it is. In order to contribute to this discussion, it would be better to analyze Wikileaks according to the codes of ethics in journalism.
Code of ethics in journalism requires a journalist to “test the accuracy of the information from all sources” which Assange is very careful about. In all his interviews and on their website they state that when information arrives to them they work on it, analyze it and then if they think it is of public benefit and interest they publish it. They keep their main source anonymous because they want to protect their source but what they do is they release people’s names that are involved in the news to public and so far the names have failed to falsify the information released on the Net. Another code that journalists have to follow is “minimize harm”. This is quite debatable. At the moment because of the information released about Tunisia, the leaders were protested and there were riots last week which made the president leave the country with his wife. The public learned about the misuse and abuse of their president so we can say that Wikileaks helped them by avoiding more harm. However, things might get worse in Tunisia so the release might cause worse situations.
Wikileaks have acted independently which is another clause in the ethical code of journalism. They have not profited from the leaks that they think are valuable for the public. They are courageous and vigilant. Assagne as their representative has surrendered to be arrested in order to avoid life full of escapes and has been released because what he has done is not against any law.
The whistle is blown. Wikileaks have set an example for many countries. Hungary’s government, for example, has become like a firewall to journalism. They have put some sanctions to the news and media coverage. “Hungary’s media law: Back to the bad old days” (http:// worldjournalism. wordpress. com /2010/12/30/hungarys-media-law-back-to-the-bad-old-days/) or Hungary Takes a Wrong Turn A terrible new law designed to control the media reminds us how fragile democracy is. By (Anne Applebaum Posted Monday, Dec. 27, 2010, at 8:47 PM ET http://www.slate.com/id/2279267/) are some of the headlines related to what is happening in Hungary. A Council has been set up like RTÜK in Turkey which watches the media and the Internet closely so that nothing against the government or against “civil rights” come out of the press or media.
Arman Assagne says “If journalism is good, it is controversial, by its nature.” He must have predicted what would happen after the whistle. Wikileaks have done what is right for humanity and human rights. Right Angle Newspaper applies all the rules of media ethics and the press does not have any restrictions which makes it free. Alas, freedom of speech and freedom of accessing information cannot be stopped.