RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – At the time of writing, Christmas Eve is just ten days away. As usual, I’ve done absolutely nothing to prepare. That’s not true actually, I just edited a story about Christmas in Rio, and to help get in the mood started listening to last year’s holiday episode of the Roadhouse Blues Podcast.
The big news of the week of course, and perhaps the decade, is WikiLeaks. While the world is focusing on the previously unavailable 251,287 leaked U.S. embassy cables, we were able to leverage that into our story about the Brazilian and U.S. Military collaboration.
For those still uninformed by any form of international news since then, WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 by Julian Assange (recently arrested and jailed in Britain), is not associated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia. Time Magazine considers it “As important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.”
WikiLeaks defines itself as, “a non-profit media organization dedicated to bringing important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for independent sources around the world to leak information to our journalists. We publish material of ethical, political and historical significance while keeping the identity of our sources anonymous, thus providing a universal way for the revealing of suppressed and censored injustices.”
Apparently WikiLeaks employs high-end security technologies to accept anonymous sources of information. The key being a highly secure drop box fortified by “cutting-edge cryptographic information technologies”, thus protecting sources from any reprisals.
WikiLeaks has won a number of awards, including the 2008 Economist magazine New Media Award and Julian Assange was named the Readers’ Choice for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year award for 2010.
In July of 2007, WikiLeaks released Afghan War Diary, more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available. In October, the group released almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs, which were republished by major international news organizations. Now, on November 28th, WikiLeaks began releasing U.S. State department diplomatic cables.
In no way is The Rio Times a whistle blowing operation at this time, we are too small. In order to financially afford to continue publishing, we remain pro-gringo, and pro-business (as we are not an NGO/non-profit organization). We are also pro-Brazil, as we choose to make this our home and believe in all its potential.
That said, we certainly will look to use WikiLeaks, and continue to provide important, accurate, and unbiased news to the best of our ability. Certainly with WikiLeaks we’ll have access to reports previously unavailable, so… ’tis the season.