From Watergate to WikiLeaks: Nieman conference on secrecy and journalism

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On Dec. 16, 2010, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard will host a one-day conference “From Watergate to WikiLeaks: Journalism and Secrecy in the New Media Age.”

The WikiLeaks Iraq and Afghanistan war logs—and now the roll out of diplomatic cables—are having an enormous impact on journalism.

At this conference, the Nieman Foundation will take a leadership role in convening a group of reporters and editors along with other watchdog experts. The event will explore how secrets are investigated, shared and filtered (or not) in an era of self-publishing, online whistle-blowing, data mining and social media websites. It will discuss journalism’s role—what it traditionally has been and what it can or should be in this new environment.

Visit the conference website for more information and to RSVP (required for attendance). Those who are unable to attend may follow the sessions through online videos and blogs and on Twitter (hashtag #niemanLeaks). Edited video and transcripts will be available in the weeks following the event.

A quick overview of the program:

Kathleen Carroll, executive editor at The Associated Press, will talk about the challenges to advancing freedom of information in the digital marketplace.

Bill Keller, executive editor at The New York Times, will share his observations and reflections on the ongoing collaboration between The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and WikiLeaks.

Walter Pincus (intelligence and national security reporter, The Washington Post), Danielle Brian (executive director, Project on Government Oversight), Clint Hendler (staff writer, Columbia Journalism Review) and Maggie Mulvihill (senior investigative producer, New England Center for Investigative Reporting) will discuss how they navigate new rules and new roles in the age of radical transparency.

Stefan Candea (co-founder, Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism), Alejandra Matus (freelance journalist, Chile), Rob Rose (business investigations reporter, Sunday Times, South Africa) and Kevin Doyle (editor-in-chief, The Cambodia Daily) – all recent Nieman Fellows – will share their experiences pushing for accountability in countries were media repression is the norm.

And under the headline “Secrets 2.0”, Ellen Miller (Executive Director and Co-Founder, Sunlight Foundation), Teru Kuwayama (founder, Basetrack), David Kaplan (Director, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists), Aron Pilhofer (co-founder, Document Cloud and editor, interactive news technologies, The New York Times) and John Bohannon (contributing correspondent, Science Magazine) will present their innovative answers to journalistic obligations.

Learn more.