Let’s start with what a journalist actually is. Defining journalism is a good start.
Wikipedia defines a journalist as:
A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public.
The interesting part in the Wikipedia article seen above states:
A reporter is a type of journalist who researches, writes, and reports on information in order to present in sources, conduct interviews, engage in research, and make reports. The information-gathering part of a journalist’s job is sometimes called reporting, in contrast to the production part of the job such as writing articles.
Julian Assange is a publisher as well as a journalist. He always investigated his data to verify authenticity. He always followed the ethics and principles of good journalism and protected his sources as well. The millions of documents published by Wikileaks are important to the public because they have a right to know.
Assange is being attacked in any way possible to chase support away. By saying he is not a journalist, it enables the U.S. to remove his protection under the First Amendment. They then can label him a spy instead.
The false statement that he is not protected by the First Amendment because he is not a citizen is an outrageous falsehood. The Supreme Court of the United States has never interpreted it that way. Rights are for all people, not the selected few.
Besides that, there is no legal basis to distinguish a media outlet from an organization that publishes leaks. It has never been defined what news organizations constitute the definition of the press. The point that Assange and Wikileaks do large data dumps instead of publishing certain amounts at a time, with a written explanation of what the documents hold, does not differentiate them from a news source like the Guardian.
Assange has also written pieces along the way that have been issued by such places like the Washington Post (a list of books and videos can be seen here). He also interviewed various people on “World Tomorrow” which aired from April 17th, 2012 to July 3rd, 2012 consisting of 12 episodes. According to the information at Wikipedia:
Assange describes himself as an advocate of information transparency and market libertarianism. He has written a few short pieces, including “State and terrorist conspiracies” (2006), “Conspiracy as governance” (2006), “The hidden curse of Thomas Paine” (2008), “What’s new about WikiLeaks?” (2011), and the foreword to Cypherpunks (2012). He also contributed research to Suelette Dreyfus‘s Underground(1997), and received a co-writer credit for the Calle 13 song “Multi_Viral” (2013).
Cypherpunks is primarily a transcript of the World Tomorrow episode eight two-part interview between Assange, Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn, and Jérémie Zimmermann.
Assange’s book, When Google Met WikiLeaks, was published by OR Books on 18 September 2014. The book recounts when Google CEO Eric Schmidt requested a meeting with Assange, while he was on bail in rural Norfolk, UK. Schmidt was accompanied by Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas; Lisa Shields, vice-president of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Scott Malcomson, the communications director for the International Crisis Group. Excerpts were published on the Newsweek website, while Assange participated in a Q&A event that was facilitated by the Reddit website and agreed to an interview with Voguemagazine.
Then let’s talk about journalism awards in his career…
- 2008, The Economist New Media Award
- 2009, Amnesty International UK Media Awards
- 2010, Time Person of the Year, Reader’s Choice
- 2010, Sam Adams Award
- 2010, Le Monde Readers’ Choice Award for Person of the Year
- 2011, Free Dacia Award
- 2011, Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal
- 2011, Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
- 2011, Voltaire Award for Free Speech
- 2012, Big Brother Award Italy 2012 “Hero of Privacy”
- 2013, Global Exchange Human Rights Award, People’s Choice
- 2013, Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts
- 2013, New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Films Silver World Medal
- 2014, Union of Journalists in Kazakhstan Top Prize
- 2019, GUE/NGL Galizia prize[40
This does not include his many nominations as Time’s Man of the year or his 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination. You don’t receive media awards by simply being an activist.
So will someone please make the dolts in the media repeating this garbage smear retract their stories and ask them just how many awards they have received! Many of what are called reporters and journalists today are nothing more than paid propagandists who read from a script or write what their bosses tell them. They never verify sources or they make them up if they have none.
So if the media wants to go around deciding who is and who isn’t a journalist, let’s have at it. Many do not deserve the title.
JULIAN ASSANGE IS A JOURNALIST!
One thought on “Debunking the Smear that Assange Is Not A Journalist”
Interesting! I especially liked the list of his writings. There are some that I haven’t read yet.