Yochai Benkler

Yochai Benkler is a professor at Harvard Law School and the author of "A Free Irresponsible Press: Wikileaks and the Battle Over the Soul of the Networked Fourth Estate," Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, Spring 2011.

Recent Articles

The Real Significance of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange (Rex Features via AP Images)
WIKILEAKS: INSIDE JULIAN ASSANGE'S WAR ON SECRECY BY DAVID LEIGH AND LUKE HARDING, PublicAffairs, 339 pages, $15.99 OPEN SECRETS: WIKILEAKS, WAR, AND AMERICAN DIPLOMACY EDITED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES STAFF, ALEXANDER STAR, AND BILL KELLER Grove Press, 523 pages, $16.95 WIKILEAKS AND THE AGE OF TRANSPARENCY BY MICAH L. SIFRY, OR Books, 211 pages, $17.00 Although WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 and released hundreds of thousands of classified documents in the next three years, it only seized the world's full attention in 2010. The Year of WikiLeaks began in April with the release of a 2007 helicopter gun-camera video from the Iraq War showing two Reuters employees killed and two children injured during an attack on a group of armed men by an audibly trigger-happy American crew. In July and October, WikiLeaks made public two large troves of documents from Iraq and Afghanistan that initially led Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to say that WikiLeaks "might already have on...


How can citizenry be engaged across different platforms? Today, the Prospect considers public media 2.0 and asks experts about its future. Yochai Benkler is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard, and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Jessica Clark and Pat Aufderhaide have written the best current analysis of how we can pursue the core values underlying support for public media in the new, networked environment. Critical to their insight is the understanding that those values are best pursued through platforms that allow the individuals and groups who make up "the public" to engage in constructing their own political and cultural sphere. Given that public media's objective is to facilitate the capabilities and practices of the population at large, what is the role of public media organizations (and their funding)? What is their institutional context? Professionalism still has its place in media, but public-media...