The Open Sources and the Leaked American Diplomatic Cables discussed at the ACRPS Symposium in Beirut
The symposium on "Open Sources on the Internet and the Leaked American Diplomatic Cables," organized by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies at Beirut's Bristol Hotel between 4-6 March 2011, has just drawn to a close.
The conference drew researchers from different disciplines across the humanities and social sciences, as well as seasoned media personalities and those concerned with WikiLeaks' leaks of the American diplomatic cables, the publication of which aroused the interest of people across the globe, and raised a number of questions that require further examination and analysis.
The symposium was launched by the ACRPS director Dr. Azmi Bishara, who presented a paper titled, "Truth, Authority and Reconsidering Facts", in which he discussed the importance of the symposium, the goal behind the conference topic, as well as the identity of new media and its relation to change, which he related the ongoing events in the region..]Dr. Dina Matar also spoke at the opening session about the media and political participation, while Dr. Basim Tweissi presented a paper on the sources of new media and the redistribution of power.
In its first day, the symposium saw a discussion of the nature of open source and media; the talks defined the relation between open source information, the leaks phenomenon and journalism. The interventions in this session focused on the kinds of new media involved in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions.
The program on the second day revolved around the leaked American diplomatic cables, beginning with a discussion of the phenomenon of leaks, and the press's stance towards it, then moving on to analyze the leaked American cables, and their value as well as their repercussions.
On the third day, the topic of discussion was the relation of the leaked American diplomatic cables to the Arab world, from the perspective of U.S. policy as well as the Arab region, with a discussion of security and human rights issues.