DailyPost 2120

True journalism is journalism of courage and depth. The depth in journalism can be defined in a variety of ways. If perseverance and winding research is added to it, with a clear-cut goal of hard-core findings, irrefutable against all odds, only then it commands respect. While we lament journalism being brought down to visual mass communication etc. highest grade journalistic output by exceptional organizations and outstanding journalists still happens consistently. Another feather in their cap is the capability to meaningfully collaborate and deliver results which can rock government, companies, intelligence agencies et al. One such super collaborative organization is the fully functional International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) of the Pegasus Report fame.

Now the same organization has churned out Uber files. The story starts with Wikileaks. The courage to being documents to the public domain. Documents which would not have seen the light of the day. Initial tranches of wildfire documents on its website in 2010 would be more than the complete delivery all forms of media combined across the globe in that year. A watershed in global media history. A path for the road ahead. Edward Snowden search for a journalist of courage, deciding on such a person, and making him digitally savvy for the job ahead took around two years. The journalist was Glenn Greenwald and media organization was Guardian.

Based on the documents provided by Snowden, Glenn published series of report detailing previously unknown American and British global surveillance programs. Laura Poitras and Glenn’s journey from New York to Hongkong to meet Snowden confidentially can get into journalistic folklore. Rest was history. One of the most startling revelations changed the course of cyber security, data protection, privacy and governmental overreach. He contributed to Guardian’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize win. Glenn and Laura won 2013 George Polk Award. Nature of leaks for millions of documents for last over a decade have turned out of be a journalistic marvel in every way.

While mass media globally took a beating, Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, Pandora Papers have real journalism woven into it, with the in-depth research that goes behind it and analytics / analysis and finally creates a clear cut meaning out of it. ICIJ brought the best out of the investigative journalists from around the world. Domain and tech wedded very closely. Pegasus Report was also one of their singular contributions. Immaculate investigative journalistic voyage, the report and the findings defend themselves. Now the Uber Files, another area of concern has been laid bare. Not to forget of the whistle blowers in recent times; from Christopher Wylie of the Cambridge Analytica fame to Mark MacGann of the Uber Files leak have made their own place. Journalists have added their domain skills to the leaks, giving a perfect meaning to it. Not to forget of Thomas Freidman who won 2002 Pulitzer for his extensive reporting of the global impact of terror. It ended in a bestselling book on 9/11 titled Longitudes and Attitudes.

Sanjay Sahay

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