Friday, March 16, 2012

Questions About Provenance of WikiLoot Documents Remain

Jason Felch has now responded to my request for details about the provenance of his WikiLoot archive as follows:

As with our reporting for the LA Times and in Chasing Aphrodite, our information was obtained from a wide variety of sources over several years of reporting. Some of it is public record and has come to light through various court cases. Some comes from sources who have asked to remain confidential. Our hope is that users may eventually contribute additional information to the project to expand its reach.

My suggestion would be that to the extent WikiLoot uploads information on the web, it identifies its specific source, and only if necessary states that the source is "confidential."

Why is this necessary?

Simply, not all documentary evidence has the same evidentary value. One would hope the WikiLoot agrees, particularly because of the proposal as now framed carries with it the danger of provoking a "witch hunt."


I note Jason Felch posted this on his WikiLeak Facebook page in response to my questions:

Jason Felch
2:15pm Mar 16
I like your suggestion, Peter. Attribution of sources is an important part of journalism.

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