Will The New York Times Set Up Its Own WikiLeaks Portal?

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What if it was easier to leak documents to news organizations? The New York Times is pondering that very question and considering how worthwhile it would be to create an online portal allowing leakers to cut out controversial middlemen like Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, allowing the paper to grab some more glory for itself in the process.

The Cutline blog is reporting that the NYT is considering creating some kind of service to allow leakers to provide large files more easily, quoting executive editor Bill Keller as saying that a “small group from computer-assisted reporting and interactive news, with advice from the investigative unit and the legal department, has been discussing options for creating a kind of EZ Pass lane for leakers.”

The move follows – and, as Keller admits, mirrors – Al Jazeera’s recent launch of its Transparency Unit, which allows users to “submit all forms of content (documents, photos, audio & video clips, as well as ‘story tips’) for editorial review and, if merited, online broadcast and transmission,” a move that led the New Yorker’s Raffi Khatchadourian to wonder if a “journalism arms race” was about to begin. The Washington Post is also said to be considering a similar system. Does this mean the beginning of the end for WikiLeaks, as it becomes a victim of its own success and imitators?

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