Bill Keller’s story about dealing with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is worth reading in its entirety. A few paragraphs stand out.
First, the following paragraph contains an implicit message about producing information: try to be interesting and engaging.
Unlike most of the military dispatches, the embassy cables were written in clear English, sometimes with wit, color and an ear for dialogue. (“Who knew,” one of our English colleagues marveled, “that American diplomats could write?”)
Second, the following passage points out that being interesting and engaging does not mean that every publication, blog post, and utterance needs to be earth-shattering. (Folks who believe otherwise do a lot of the shouting on TV, or worse, provide an audience for said shouters.)
I’m a little puzzled by the complaint that most of the embassy traffic we disclosed did not profoundly change our understanding of how the world works. Ninety-nine percent of what we read or hear on the news does not profoundly change our understanding of how the world works. News mostly advances by inches and feet, not in great leaps. The value of these documents — and I believe they have immense value — is not that they expose some deep, unsuspected perfidy in high places or that they upend your whole view of the world. For those who pay close attention to foreign policy, these documents provide texture, nuance and drama.