It’s recently become fashionable to be “positive” when writing or speaking about Africa. We’re told that there’s been too much negative media about the continent in modern times. I suppose journalists were supposed to simply ignore the deluge of wars, genocides, tyrants, famines, coups, and failed states because they don’t always show Africa as a “happy” place.
I smile as they cringe when they see you. You are my samurai sword. You have the power to save lives and dispel lies, to end wars and help the poor, to shed light unto injustice, and to conjure fear into the hearts of the corrupt. You are my badge, signifying who I am. You are my License to Ask, my affirmation of identity, and my legitimacy. You are an umbrella against a downpour of doubt. You are my compass, my lantern, my map, guiding me towards the Truth. You are the birthplace of ideas and the incubator of thoughts. You are my faithful sidekick, going where I go. You give me herculean memory, seamlessly receiving my thoughts and diligently recalling them on command, knowing that each entry brings you closer to your end. You give me the resolve to go where I need to go, and to do what I must. You are an impetus to turn curiosity into questions, questions into answers, and answers into ideas. You give me courage and remind me of who and what I am, and where I want to go. You are not simply a notepad. You are self-empowerment. You are identity.
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Journalists have always held a special place in my heart – noble pursuers of truth, keeping the electorate informed and providing a sense of community; thankless guardians of democracy, holding any and every holder of power accountable for their actions; a voice for the voiceless, providing the last best hope for countless victims of tyranny and injustice; the Fourth Estate, of no less value than the legal system.
It is the contention of this article that the significance of WikiLeaks (henceforth WL) itself, as an organization, has been exaggerated. Conversely, the significance of the documents released by WL has actually often been largely understated.