A watchdog to reckon with: Delivering WikiLeaks in the Israeli and Australian press

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Journalism & Mass Communication Department

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Research Article

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The discussion about the relationship between globalization and journalism has stressed the westernization of information flows, contra-flows, and the globalization of news practices. Beyond information flows and news practices, it is important to examine the impact that globalization has on news narratives. With the emergence of the extra-national WikiLeaks, it is possible that the 'national narrative' through which journalists interpret information is eroded and replaced by an increasingly autonomous journalism. This study tests this possibility by examining how an Israeli newspaper and an Australian newspaper incorporated leaked documents into news coverage and how they framed WikiLeaks' contribution to journalism. It finds that the papers in each country mined the leaks for geopolitical relevance to their respective countries, but did so in a way that facilitated debate about what the national interest should be. In doing so, the papers reframed WikiLeaks from a problem for the state to a whistleblower against their countries' and US officials. By extension, the papers positioned themselves as whistleblowers and democratic facilitators. A 'national lens' continues to inform newswork, but the 'national narrative' has eroded. © The Author(s) 2012.

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