The power of money.

It is undeniable that the development of new technologies and especially the Internet has been a breaking point for interaction between individuals and the rest of the world. Journalism takes an important role in this process but, because of this change, the way of communicating is not as it was traditionally.
Mainstream media do not always tell all the truth, because of several interests or just because the information to be told is inaccessible. However, thanks to the Internet and to the possibility of hacking the information, this has changed radically.
Wikileaks has opened the possibility for both citizens and journalists to have access to information that was previously hidden or unknown. Corruption, governments’ deception, censorship... Things we didn’t know that were happening are now just a click from us. Wikileaks has done it well in showing the truth of the governments, whether we agree with its means or not.
When the releasing of some cables of US government, the White House said that this was a dangerous action because if the information was published in a full way, it could endanger jobs and lives of some people. These cables showed secret relations between USA and the rest of the world when a time of war and terrorism.
One can said that “stealing” this information is not a proper way of doing journalism, that it is unfair or illegal but governments are supposed to serve citizens and they are not doing it properly, as many of these cables show. We deserve to know what the actions of our governments are and how they are being carried out.
Why should we accept their lies?

However, there is other problem that we all should accept: many of this information, published in, remains unknown because the lack of people working on redacting it to show it to the world. Wikileaks works on getting the information but journalists are needed to report it so everybody can have a proper knowledge of what’s going on.
Furthermore, as Wikileaks is sharing secrets that we should know but governments and companies think we shouldn’t, it is facing a banking blockade from VISA, Mastercard, PayPal, Western Union and The bank of America, so they stopped publishing cables in 2010 and need people’s cooperation to finance themselves.
However, there are still many confidential cases from 2010 and previous years.

One of them is because of the musical “Jesus Christ, Superstar” in Venezuela. Information from the Embassy Caracas in there about this musical, local media and different sponsors was released to the Internet.
On February 26th, 2010, local media of Venezuela made a report about a broken sponsorship deal for this Venezuelan version of the well-known musical. This happened when the production company of the musical refused to accept the requirements of their sponsors Blackberry RIM and Movilnet of not advertising in certain local media unfriendly to the government of Venezuela, as Globovision TV or newspapers like “El Nacional” and “El Universal”. The director Michel Hausmann was told not to advertise in the mentioned media and some others even with their own money. The rejection of Hausmann before this condition meant the disappearing of $300.000 of financing for the musical from Movilnet and Blackberry RIM, even when both companies and Hausmann had signed the agreement on January 21st. Eight days later (on January 29th), Hausmann was told to go to a meeting in Movilnet where he was informed of a new condition for their contract and here is when he was told not to place ads in certain media.
Hausmann complained for this to the headquarters for Blackberry RIM in Mexico but this was useless because he was told that they would not go against their “biggest ally in the region”: Movilnet.
Hausmann was afraid of making the conflict public when it happened at the end of January even when he wished to, because of possible retaliation –and the production work had already started –. In fact, he received a phone call from Movilnet saying that he “would regret the decision” and should be prepared to “get screwed”.
The show was finally carried out but it suffered from many problems of financing, as Hausmann had few time to solve the retirement of the money from Blackberry RIM and Movilnet.

I got to know of this issue because of analyzing the information published by Wikileaks but… how many people don’t? How much information is “lost” in How many things are being done behind us? How many operations are being developed “in the shadows”, not only in other countries but our own?

The Internet is a very powerful tool, as we already know but it is not only a virtual world. It needs the cooperation and collaboration of people to be useful and now that we know our possibilities we must fight for transparency.


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