Glenn Greenwald: ‘There are Definitely Huge New Stories to Come’

Glenn Greenwald — the Guardian journalist who broke the Edward Snowden and NSA story — did a Reddit AMA, and though the whole section is well worth reading, below are some of his most interesting answers.

On if there will be more “groundbreaking” leaks:

There are definitely huge new stories to come: many more. I’ve said that from the start every time I was asked and I think people see by now that it’s true. In fact, as Janine [Janine Gibson, editor of Guardian US] said the other day, the documents and newsworthy revelations are so massive that no one news organization can possibly process them all.

Advice on how to get hired by The Guardian:

Figure out a handful of topics that you’re genuinely passionate about, develop an expertise in them; and find ways to demonstrate a commitment to doing real, adversarial journalism.

On why the stories have come piece by piece, instead of in one big news dump:

1) It’s irresponsible to dump documents without first understanding them and the consequences of publication.

2) It’s 100% contrary to the agreement we made with our source when he came to us and talked about how he wanted us to report on them (if he wanted them all dumped, he wouldn’t have needed us: he could have done it himself).

3) It would be impossible for the public to process a huge, indiscriminate dump, and media outlets would not care enough to read through them and report them because they’d have no vested interest in doing so (that’s what WikiLeaks learned long ago, which is why they began partnering with media outlets on an exclusive basis for its releases).

4) The debate that we should be having would get overwhelmed by accusations that we were being irresponsible and helping the Terrorists; in other words, it would be strategically dumb to do.

5) There are already lots of risks for people reporting on these documents; there would be seriously heightened risks for anyone involved if they were just indiscriminately dumped.

On how the Guardian handles the government’s involvement in the leaks:

We have a process that we run with every story where we approach the administration, tell them what we’re doing and identify any documents that we might quote from or publish. We invite them to share any specific national security concerns that would result from those disclosures. What happens next varies. Sometimes they respond with redaction requests (and sometimes we agree and sometimes not). Sometimes just a statement. Sometimes we ask questions. Sometimes they answer. Much of the time, we’ve already made some decisions ourselves on redactions of obviously sensitive operational detail or people’s names etc. As we’ve gone on, working this story has become closer to journalistic standard practice (or at least, how we practice it).

Correction (10:08 am):
The last quote was issued by Gibson, not Greenwald.