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Posts Tagged ‘Julian Assange’

Video: 5 Things You Need to Know This Week

In this week’s episode of 5 Things You Need to Know This Week, we give a lesson on human reproduction, talk about the U.S. Open, sit down with Julian Assange, and, oh yeah, cover that Irene thing everyone’s been talking about.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


Julian Assange Awarded UK’s Martha Gelhorn Prize for Journalism

While American talking heads have decided Julian Assange should be assassinated, journalists in the UK think telling the truth is a worthy pursuit.

The New Statesman reports:

The internet activist and founder of whistleblower website, WikiLeaks, has been awarded the highly prestigious Martha Gelhorn Prize for Journalism 2011.

The prize is presented annually to a journalist “whose work has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth that exposes establishment propaganda, or ‘official drivel’, as Martha Gelhorn called it.”

The judges ruled unanimously in favour of Julian Assange, whose work in exposing classified information to the public was described as “a truth-telling that has empowered people all over the world.”

Gawker and New York Times Writers Get Together for ‘Page One’ Screening Party

Gawker Media and Magnolia Pictures plan to hold a private screening of “Page One,” the documentary on the New York Times, Adweek reports. The screening will be on the rooftop of Gawker’s Manhattan office, and will be followed by a panel featuring the filmmaker Andrew Rossi, as well as The Atlantic’s Michael Hirschorn, Gizmodo’s Brian Lam, and the two stars of the film: Times media writers David Carr and Brian Stelter.

What’s curious about this crowd is that Gawker, along with The Huffington Post and WikiLeaks, is portrayed in the film as a threat to the Times, particularly with regard to Gawker head Nick Denton‘s page view obsession. And the same goes for The Atlantic‘s Hirshhorn: his essay “End Times: Can America’s paper of record survive the death of newsprint? Can journalism?” is also featured in the film.

Glad all of these major media factions could put their differences aside and come together for what is sure to be a fascinating panel on the state of journalism. Too bad Julian Assange and Arianna Huffington aren’t making appearances as well. FishbowlNY editors have likewise not been asked to appear, but we’re sure that’s just a temporary oversight on their part.

How the New York Times Forced Julian Assange to Give Up Guantanamo Bay Files

Michael Calderone at Huffington Post wrote yesterday about the scramble to publish WikiLeaks Guantanamo Bay documents. The curious aspect to the whole tale is that five months had passed since a source told Reuters that Julian Assange had “personal files of every prisoner in GITMO” and the documents still hadn’t emerged.

The documents were finally published when the New York Times obtained them, and decided to share them with NPR and Guardian.  But Times executive editor Bill Keller told The Huffington Post that, “WikiLeaks is not our source. We got the material with no embargo.” This suggests that the source presumably was Wikileaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg.

So why did Julian Assange hoard the documents and refuse to publish them? John Cook at Gawker writes that though Assange has claimed he held on to his secrets in order to honor his sources’ desires for “maximum impact,” and also wanted time to review the documents to minimize harm, the real reason is that Assange just wanted to protect himself.

Assange has come to view the unpublished bits of [Bradley] Manning‘s cache as, literally, insurance… With each new disclosure, that insurance file affords him less and less leverage, which explains his reluctance to follow Manning’s wishes and actually disclose information…

And without the threat of more earth-shattering disclosures down the road, will anyone really care whether Assange is extradited to Sweden, or gets convicted of rape, or goes to jail? Not really. Which is why he’s publishing the Gitmo files under duress.

Perhaps WikiLeaks is less an agent for truth than an agent for Julian Assange.

Julian Assange Dance Party

Julian Assange getting down in Iceland. Yikes. Just…Yikes.

[H/T The eXiled]

Adult Industry Reels from Pornwikileaks.com

Although Pornwikileaks.com deals with matters far less sensitive than those discussed in international diplomatic cables, the fallout is potentially very serious for the thousands of adult film stars whose true identities have been exposed.

A representative for the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM), the Sherman Oaks clinic suspected of being the source of the leaked XXX actor name, address and – in some cases – relatives information, confirms to NBC Los Angeles they have launched a full investigation and will consider pressing charges. Meanwhile, Guy Adams, LA correspondent for the Independent, suggests the breach could be particularly damaging to former adult stars now working in the conventional job world. He also frames the anonymous operator(s) of Pornwikileaks.com as being a far cry from Julian Assange:

No one knows what motivated the creator of Porn Wikileaks, which is amateurish and Thursday struggled to cope with a sudden surge in traffic. The site is registered in the Netherlands, apparently by a disgruntled member of the “porn press”, and describes the purpose of its existence as being a “media organization” devoted to making the industry more transparent.

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Bill Keller Still After Huffington Post in Latest Piece for New York Times Magazine

So! Bill Keller has a new piece for the New York Times Magazine. He writes, “I don’t intend this occasional essay to become the Editor’s Pulpit,” which got us excited, naturally, because it meant that that was exactly what he was about to do. And when Keller goes in to Editor’s Pulpit mode, it generally means he is going to take on his nemesis du jour, the Huffington Post. Fun all around.

Keller’s actual subjects are the worthy issues of journalistic openness and transparency, and he begins by comparing James O’Keefe and Julian Assange. (As a side note, his comparison reminds us a lot of a post we read a few weeks ago for The Atlantic Wire by Erik Hayden.)

The interesting thing here is that Keller was criticized after his first take down of the Huffington Post for his reply to Arianna Huffington‘s rebuttal, where he (in the words of Felix Salmon):

[V]iolated the first rule of blogging, and failed to link to the argument he was engaging. So when he talked about “the reaction” to his column, or “clueless commentary”, the lack of any link was a CYA move, giving him the opportunity to say “oh no, I didn’t mean you“.

In this latest piece, Keller fails to link again. He writes:

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Julian Assange on 60 Minutes

60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft interviewed Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.

This is the first in depth interview Assange has done and it’s a dichotomy of media. New school interviewed by old school. The new tech journalist pushing the activist envelope on a show that employs the oldest weekly commentator in the history of the universe, Andy Rooney.

Bill Keller To Contribute To The New York Times Magazine

Beginning this March, New York Times executive editor Bill Keller will author his own column in the Sunday New York Times Magazine.  Keller’s articles will be placed in the front of each issue and were the idea of new editor Hugo Lindgren.  Lindgren discussed how he how he decided to ask Keller to write for his magazine:

I was talking with some of my colleagues, and we were like, ‘How do we make this a destination page in the magazine — something people will feel like they have to read?’  And, ‘Who’s a writer that can occupy this space for more than half the time, so it sort of feels like someone is there most of the time?’ And someone said, ‘Bill Keller,’ and I was like, ‘Ha ha ha. He could never do it.

Lindgren and Keller agreed that the new article will open each edition’s “The Way We Live Now” section.  Keller’s columns will be around 1,500 words long and will run in two to three issues per month.  Keller has yet to determine what he will write about yet, however he shouldn’t be too rusty after publishing his recent piece on the Times’s relationship with Julian Assange and Wikileaks.  Earlier in his career, Keller served as a senior writer under former NYT Magazine editor Adam Moss.

How The New York Times Dealt with Wikileaks and Julian Assange

Bill Keller has a mammoth of a piece today about how the New York Times dealt with Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

Keller describes Assange, early on at least, as someone who would be starkly serious one moment, then giddy the next. He says that as time went on, their relationship went from cautious to “hostile.” Assange began to complain about Times pieces, and the one that finally destroyed their relationship, obviously, was the profile about Assange himself. By that time, Keller says “Assange was transformed by his outlaw celebrity.”

Keller also dives into the public’s reaction to the Times for publishing Wikileaks, and confronts the absurd notion that the paper didn’t consider the consequences of doing so:

Although it is our aim to be impartial in our presentation of the news, our attitude toward these issues is far from indifferent. The journalists at The Times have a large and personal stake in the country’s security.

He then goes on to admit that their dealings with Wikileaks has been imperfect, but neccessary:

We make the best judgments we can. When we get things wrong, we try to correct the record. A free press in a democracy can be messy. But the alternative is to give the government a veto over what its citizens are allowed to know. Anyone who has worked in countries where the news diet is controlled by the government can sympathize with Thomas Jefferson’s oft-quoted remark that he would rather have newspapers without government than government without newspapers.

Well put.

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