The Society of Professional Journalists has a Code of Ethics for their sector. These ethics are that journalists should always seek the truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently and be accountable. Wikileaks isn’t against these codes of ethics and that’s why the SPJ doesn’t say anything about Wikileaks.
In the above mentioned Code of Ethics, the most debatable issue is ‘minimizing harm’. Of course somebody is going to get harmed by what journalists have written, but the responsibility of the journalist is to ‘minimize’ this harm, not cancel it out. What Wikileaks is publishing is harming politicians. For example, Hillary Clinton, who is the 67th United States Secretary of State, wrote in her email that Ahmet Davutoğlu was a very “dangerous” man. This of course harmed Hillary Clinton and she apologized to Ahmet Davutoğlu after this news was published by Wikileaks. Wikileaks is minimizing the harm to the public and to the professionalism of the Foreign Affairs Department of countries by publishing the information that they have found.
Wikileaks once shared a real video which was taken in Iraq. In the video an American soldier was shooting a civilian and also some conversations were taking place between the soldiers. “Hahaha. I hit ’em,” said one of the soldiers and another soldiers added “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.” If Wikileaks hadn’t shared this video in their website, people all over the world, including American citizens, wouldn’t know what kind of people were “defending” their country and that their president was allowing these people to shoot innocent civilians. If the Americans weren’t aware of this they would be the ones who would be harmed at the end of the day. Just as in the Nixon case. Americans would have been harmed if they hadn’t learnt that their president was doing illegal things.
SPJ’s Code of Ethics states that journalists should ALWAYS seek the truth and report the truth. SPJ says “Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.”Wikileaks is definitely seeking the truth. It isn’t publishing any false information on the site and the information that Wikileaks is gathering comes from trustworthy sources. There has never been refutation of the information or the sources. People know the information is trustworthy. For example, when Wikileaks decides to leak a mail, they scan the mail and put it on their web and that way people understand that the information is the truth.
Wikileaks is definitely acting independently. SPJ says “Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.” Wikileaks is an independent website of which one of the founders is Julian Assange, who has been put under house arrest in UK, with an arrest warrant issued by Sweden, due to rape allegations. So Wikileaks doesn’t care if powerful people don’t like what they publish, they are unaffiliated and autonomous. In conclusion, Wikileaks is seeking the sheer truth and publishing it in their website, minimizing the harm by informing the public, acting independently by publishing information that puts them in danger, not caring what powerful people (e.g. the president of countries) think. Wikileaks has been in accordance with all the standards of professional journalism and much more.