It was a busy first day of lecturing today — a day that began with talking to a small group of working Sri Lankan journalists about interviewing. But, what everyone really wanted to talk about was Wikileaks and the impact of Julian Assange’s efforts on the future of journalism.
There has been much written in the local media here about Wikileaks and the stories produced in the aftermath of the huge document dump. Much of the analysis has been fairly critical of the policies of the U.S. government.
One journalist asked about the changing lines between public and private. We talked a little bit about the tension between governments looking to keep secrets and journalists looking to pull back the veil of secrecy. I also spoke about the ethical considerations of journalists and the balancing act between the desire to provide a free flow of information and the quest to not do harm — a concern that is very real in this part of the world.
An interesting conversation all-around.
In the afternoon I spoke to a group of students the University of Sri Jayawardanepura about the future of citizen journalism — as students and monks protested outside the university gates. My advice was simple, shoot photos and video and upload to the web. And, do it now!
The drive to the university was an adventure — water buffalo wandered some streets but we were able to succesfully avoid them.
More to come….