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WIKILEAKS; en spark i rumpan för journalistiken?: Svenska journalister och Wikileaks
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Wikileaks is using the new technical solutions to mount big leaks, consisting of secret or sensitive information from the government, institutions and business. This might profoundly change the media reality and it certainly means both new opportunities and new challenges for traditional media; the conditions for the journalists, the sources and the news reporting are changing. In this thesis the relationship between Swedish journalists and Wikileaks has been the focus; they both affect each other but the conditions for this relationship is not yet clear. Clearly there is an interdependence, but who really is dependent on the other and to which degree they are dependent on each other is still a question without a given answer.

The aim of this thesis has been to discern a new journalism, and how this responds to the theories of Public Journalism and Journalistik 3.0. The main aim has been to examine what Swedish journalist thinks about Wikileaks, what their attitude towards Wikileaks are,  if and how they think that Wikileaks have affected the Swedish journalism. The aim has also been to look at journalism and Wikileaks today and see if it can be said that they are influenced by Public Journalism or Journalism 3.0.

To examine this a qualitative study have been used: ten journalists from four of Sweden’s largest newspapers have answered a list of questions. The answers then have been analyzed and compared to Public Journalism and Journalistik 3.0, these theories have been chosen with the help of John Pavliks thoughts about the technical development affect on journalism, and these are aslo used in the analyze. To put the analyze in context and give a understanding for why the aim of the thesis and the questions asked are relevant the first part of the thesis gives a background to journalism, the technical development and the Internet and how they have affected each other. As said this gives context to the empiric, but it is also used in the analyze and in the results, to answer the questions asked.

The conclusions that could be drawn from this study is that Swedish journalists have a generally positive attitude to Wikileaks, especially concerning Wikileaks basic idea. They think it is positive that the organization is making it easier to access information that has been secret or sensitive and could help them reveal anomalies. But there is some cautions, concerning the big mass of information published and the scrutiny and screening this material is in need of, something that is expensive. The journalists do not think that Wikileaks yet have affected the journalism in any profound way; they say that the news production and the way they work still is the same. But the organization has shed light on shortcomings in how media is handling sources with digital information. Wikileaks also have caused the launch of other whistleblower-sights. In the future journalists might have a more filtering and screening role, and investigative journalism might be done from behind the desk. Special workgroups might work only with material from Wikileaks and other whistleblower-sights and cooperation between these organizations and journalists might become more frequent. Because Wikileaks allows the audience access to the source material they give the audience more power to influence the news reporting, it might also result that the source material more frequently is being published with the news articles. Regarding Public Journalism and the journalists it could be said that they, at least to some extent, have a similar view at the journalism as Public Journalism. Wikileaks can be seen as an expression of Public Journalism, as they counter too many of the ideals and cornerstones in the theory. Wikileaks also counter a lot of the characteristics found in Journalistik 3.0. According to the answers provided by the journalists it also could be said that a new journalism in large measure up to the characteristics in Journalistik 3.0. 

Author: Emma Lavesson 

Tutor: Anne-Marie Morhed

Aim: The main aim of this thesis has been to examine what Swedish journalists think about Wikileaks, what their attitude towards Wikileaks are, if and how journalists think that Wikileaks have affected the Swedish journalism. The aim has also been to look at journalism and Wikileaks today and see if it can be said that they are influenced by Public Journalism or Journalism 3.0

Method and Material: One qualitative study has been used; a list of questions has been sent to ten different journalists from Sweden’s four biggest newspapers.  The result from this list of questions then have been analyzed and compared to Public Journalism and Journalistik 3.0, theories of the public sphere and sources access or coverage also is used in the analyze. These theories have been chosen with the help of John Pavliks thoughts about how the technical development are affecting the journalism, and his thoughts are also being used in the analyze. To put the study in context a background of journalism, the technical development and the Internet is presented, and this is also used in the analyze and the result.

Main results: Swedish journalists have a generally positive attitude to Wikileaks, especially concerning Wikileaks basic idea, the organisation give the journalist easier access to information that hve been bescret or sensitive and that could help them reveal anomilies.

The journalists do not think that the organization have affected the journalism in any profound way. But the organisation has shed light on shortcomings in how the media is handeling sources with digital information and caused the launch of other whistleblower-sights. In the future the journalists might have a more filtering and screening role, and investigative journalism might be done from behind the desk. Special workgroups might work only with material from Wikileaks and other whistleblower-sights and cooperation between these organizations and journalists might become more frequent. Regarding Public Journalism and the journalists it could be said that they, at least to some extent, have a similar view at the journalism as Public Journalism. Wikileaks can be seen as an expression of Public Journalism, as they counter too many of the ideals and cornerstones in the theory. Wikileaks also counter a lot of the characteristics found in Journalistik 3.0.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 60 p.
Keyword [sv]
Journalistik, Wikileaks, Public Journalism, Journalistik 3.0, den offentliga sfären, Coverage, Access, Whistleblowers, Mats Svegfors, Cilla Benkö, Buzz Merrit, Ira Basen.
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-154494OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-154494DiVA: diva2:420775
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Freestanding course
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2011-06-17 Created: 2011-06-05 Last updated: 2011-06-17Bibliographically approved

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