By Mary Jantsch
Class of 2013
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media will present a panel discussion and open forum titled, “WikiLeaks: When Does Free Speech Become Treason?” from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 28 in Room 101 of College Hall (formerly the Administration Building) at Gonzaga University. The event is free and open to the public.
Local journalists and philosophy professors will join together in a panel to discuss First Amendment rights, the role of journalism in society, transparency of public officials and the ethics of privacy and transparency. The panel members include Whitworth University journalism Professor James McPherson; Susan English, associate professor of journalism at Gonzaga; Gonzaga philosophy faculty Kirk Besmer and Tom Jeannot; and Ted McGregor, editor and publisher of The Inlander weekly newspaper.
After launching in 2006, the WikiLeaks nonprofit media organization continues to grow. WikiLeaks provides a secure and anonymous online platform for independent sources worldwide to leak information to journalists and the public. WikiLeaks maintains the anonymity of its sources while publishing material it claims is of ethical, political and historical significance. U.S. government officials have criticized WikiLeaks for exposing previously classified information, contending the releases harm national security and compromise international diplomacy. U.S. military leaders also have said the leaks put U.S. armed forces at greater risk.
The Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, a partnership of Gonzaga and the University of Washington, is a regional center for excellence in media literacy. The organization also is part of the Gonzaga Master’s Program in Communication and Leadership Studies, which recently earned the prestigious Innovative Program Award from the National Communication Association.
Its vision statement declares the organization is “committed to promoting media literacy by monitoring the influence of news and entertainment media on our society, educating the community about this influence, and working with media professionals to influence the media to act responsibly in helping create a thriving cultural environment for all.”