This week on The Listening Post, we continue to follow the impact of the Wikileaks Afghan war logs as it continues to make headlines around the world. We also have a look at the dark side of online video gaming.
The truth is out there, but what does it all mean? We start this week's show by looking at the second chapter of the Wikileaks story. Last week the story focused on the scale and scope of the release of the Afghan war logs. Now attention is turning to the figures involved and what the US government should do about it.
Some in the media are criticising the role that The Guardian, The New York Times, and Der Speigel played in releasing the information. Other news outlets remain focused on what they see as the irresponsibility of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. The finger pointing goes on with the Pentagon suggesting that Wikileaks has blood on its hands and vice versa.
Wherever you stand one thing is clear, with journalists just starting to scratch the surface of the thousands of documents released by Wikileaks, this story is far from over.
Video gaming is the fastest growing form of entertainment in the world today. It is currently outselling both the film and music industries. One game in particular has captured the world's imagination. World of Warcraft is an online, interactive video game where players create a character known as an avatar to explore, fight and befriend other players in this virtual realm.
The makers of the game claim to have more than 11 million players these days. But like most things in life, moderation is the key, and so many people playing World of Warcraft, often called the cocaine of the gaming world, the balance between fantasy and day-to-day life - for some - is not very moderate.
The Listening Post's Sam Sapin reports on a video game that has led to rehab clinics in Amsterdam, sweat shops in China, and a make-believe world that is casting a cyber shadow over the real one.
Quick hits from the media world with our Newsbytes: Blackberry users in the United Arab Emirates will only have access to a few of their functions come October, when emailing, instant messaging and web browsing on the devices will be banned; four journalists were kidnapped in Mexico, two of them rescued, one released and one is still missing; an infamous TV host in Brazil looses his battle with a liver disease; bloggers have been added to the controversial wiretapping bill in Italy that could see them face fines of up to $33,000; and the US congress has passed, by voice vote, the Speech Act that will protect their journalists, writers and bloggers from harsh libel laws like those in the UK.
With all the debate surrounding WikiLeaks and their decision to cast thousands of the US government's confidential Afghanistan files into the public domain online, internet censorship is definitely a contentious issue. Our internet video of the weekpits a rapping Julian Assange against a hawkish rhyming general in the battle for the freedom of the internet.
This episode of The Listening Post aired from Friday, August 6, 2010.