Corporations Censoring the Press

poster by Jon Larsonposter by Jon Larson

Censorship is usually very quiet. After all, how can a person know something that is not written about or talked about?

In the excerpted article below, Dan Gillmor writes about the silence of the press in reporting the boycott of Wikileaks, and other matters, and how the “legacy news organizations” fail to understand their role in censorship itself.

“In December 2010, the major payment systems used to buy goods and services online decided that Wikileaks was no longer an acceptable customer. Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal summarily cut off service, putting Wikileaks into deep financial trouble and further marginalizing an organization that had become an object of fear and loathing inside the US government and other centers of wealth and power.

“While many in the new media world sounded an alarm, the response of journalists from legacy news organizations was mostly silence, except to take note of what had happened. By ignoring the implications of what had happened—a financial blockade of an organization engaged in recognizably journalistic pursuits—traditional media people demonstrated how little they understood or appreciated the information ecosystem in which they also exist. And by failing to object, loudly, they gave tacit assent to tactics that should chill people who genuinely believe in free speech. …

“…[In the U.S.], Hollywood and other corporate interests have taken the lead in threatening the Internet’s freewheeling nature—and they’ve had plenty of help from government. …

“…It has taken news people too long to understand this, but the Obama administration may have been the least friendly to journalism of any, regardless of party, in recent times—notably in its zeal to prosecute leakers and penchant for secrecy. …”

Read the entire article here.


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