Note: Drawing the Line 

As the effects of the release of the latest government documents by Wikileak ripple into the diplomatic community, and as the world debates the ethics of publishing highly sensitive information, I've been grappling with my own decision along the same lines. While the information I've debated over may not be imprudently written descriptions of foreign leaders or reports containing very candid quotes from top Middle Eastern officials, the impact could be devastating, if only for a handful of people.

At this week, you'll find a feature story from former BW News Editor-turned-independent journalist Nathaniel Hoffman. The report details the social movement astir in support of the Dream Act. It's a bill that, if passed, would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented persons younger than 35 who came to the United States before the age of 16. As of BW's press time, the bill had yet to be voted on by Congress but was expected to make its way through the Senate this week.

Interspersed throughout Hoffman's piece are first-person accounts from a high school student living here in Idaho who would benefit from the Dream Act. In the first draft of Hoffman's piece, the source published as only "Aaron" divulged his entire name, as well as his town of residence and high school. After much deliberation, I made the decision to remove some of that information from the story and use only Aaron's first name.

Aaron wants to be fully "out" as undocumented and doing so semi-anonymously--by using only his first name--perhaps defeats that wish. But Aaron also lives in a very small town in a very conservative area of the state and his entire family is undocumented. At age 17, Aaron was willing to risk his future and that of his family's to come out in Hoffman's story. However, the story is no less powerful without Aaron's last name or the name of the town in which he lives. And, perhaps, withholding that information removes him from danger. To read Hoffman's story, log on to and click on "Features."

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