What the Julian Assange indictment means for press freedom

As World Press Freedom Day is commemorated, an international poll has revealed controversial opinions by journalists about the actions of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The whistleblower was charged with "conspiracy" for working with former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010 to release hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing US military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries around the world.

The study conducted by Sweet Spot in five countries explores the impact of the leaked information on journalistic practices.

Joanne Joseph spoke to Sweet Spot PR's Paxia Ksatryo, who shared details on the outcome of the poll.

She says some journalists have argued that there is ethical conduct in the way you practise information distribution.

Ksatryo says the findings prove that WikiLeaks has redefined and reconceptualised the process of information distribution and journalists have proved that while it may not be considered a news organisation, it should still be protected by the first amendment.

The question now becomes, are these considered journalistic activities and to what extent should this be protected and what will be the future of press freedom and its relationship to whistleblowers be.

Paxia Ksatryo, Sweet Spot PR

I believe it is quite interesting how WikiLeaks acts as a platform on its own to publish the data that has been leaked to it. How it differs, however, from news organisations is the technique and methodology in which they have done it and I think this is what makes Julian Assange such a controversial figure.

Paxia Ksatryo, Sweet Spot PR

Seventy percent of journalists worldwide believe that he should not be punished for these instances.

Paxia Ksatryo, Sweet Spot PR

Eight thousand journalists around the world were surveyed and of that, 31 % were from the US, Sweden and the UK.

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation....


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