The Anatomy of Leaking in the Age of Megaleaks: New triggers, old news practices

Zvi Reich, Aviv Barnoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This paper examines the anatomy of leaking in the age of megaleaks based on a series of reconstruction interviews with 108 Israeli reporters, who recreated a sample of leaked versus non-leaked items (N = 845). Data show that leaking remains a journalistic routine, encompassing one in six items; however, they cease to be the sole game of senior sources, involving substantially more non-seniors. Despite new technologies and the mounting number of channels that enable their exposure, leaks remain an oral practice, exchanged mainly over the telephone. On the journalists’ end, there is little change: leaks are the prerogative of more senior and experienced reporters in print and television news; they are still accompanied by more sources, more cross-checking and more consultation with editors than regular items. These findings concur with theories that perceive the relationship between megaleaks and traditional leaks as co-existing rather than disruptive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)886-898
Number of pages13
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2016


  • WikiLeaks
  • journalism
  • leaks
  • megaleaks
  • news practices
  • sources
  • technology
  • whistleblowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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