By Alex Hager
Midday on Saturday, I attended the standing-room-only keynote talk with Edward Snowden. Joining us via video link, Snowden talked about his involvement with journalists and their role in his infamous reveal of classified NSA information.
Snowden talked about the value of journalists in many different respects. He described how he reached out to specific reporters who he knew he could trust to accurately and responsibly interpret, manage, and disseminate the information he had.
I thought Snowden was incredibly articulate, and his appearance brought a lot of value to the conference. As journalists, especially at a journalism-focused event, it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in our own work, focusing on the storytelling, phrasing and distribution. And this can turn into a dangerous mindset that prevents us from remembering to think beyond our own story and remember the real-world context and implications of the story we’re covering, and most importantly, the impact our reporting can have outside of our own lives.
After handing his information off to journalists, Snowden watch that story unfold, and now that he’s put some time between today and his initial leak, he was able to describe the story from a perspective that considered all of the implications.