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back to article Assange shocker: 'Of course I'm a goddamn journalist'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is running out of patience with those who question his rightful membership with the fourth estate. Just hours after receiving Australia's Walkley Award for "recognition of long-term commitment and achievement in the Australian media," Assange appeared by Skype at the News World Summit in Hong …

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Happy

Have they not heard of Dropbox? :-)

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I don't consider him a journalist, I consider him a useful source. Does he construct a story from multiple sources? Does he attempt to place the information he gathers in context, by talking to others or giving those implicated the opportunity to respond pre-publication? No.

I'm not saying that all journalists do that. but those worth their salt do.

This isn't any comment on the worthiness of WikiLeak's mission, just a comment on his assertion that he is a journalist.

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Anonymous Coward

I think he fits the bill...

"Where men are insulated they are easily oppressed; when roads become good, and intercourse is easy, their force is increased more than a hundred fold: when, without personal communication, their opinions can be interchanged, and the people thus become one mass, breathing one breath and one spirit, their might increases in a ratio of which it is difficult to find the measure or the limit. Journalism does this office" - "New Monthly Magazine", 1831 via etymonline.com

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Anonymous Coward

Well

That quote better describes a trade union better than a jounalist, or journalism. I'm not sure it describes journalism at all, to be quite honest. I could probably find a quote that says journalism is the art of waving a chair at a tiger somewhere online, it's still gibberish.

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Paris Hilton

And I thought he was the News.

Paris, coz she makes her own material.

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Bronze badge

When the US constitution granted special protections to journalists, it failed to define what exactly the job meant, nor to specify a test or establish a register to prove one's eligibility for those protections.

That's partly because *there are no special protections for journalists*. The constitution guarantees "freedom [...] of the press". It makes absolutely no difference whether "the press" in question is run by a journalist, a politician or a baker. Indeed, it's pretty clear that any such rules would be unconstitutional.

So the whole "is he/isn't he a journalist?" question, from the US legal standpoint, makes not the slightest bit of difference to anything.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah ok I'll (allegedly) break the law but it's ok because I'm (allegedly) a journalist!

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Silver badge

Please correct if misleading and not right, for anything else would be misleading

Morning, veti,

The US constitution is surely apparently, no more than just a scrap of useless script nowadays, veti, to be used and abused in a Great Game Deceit, by any perversely rich tool and old fool Tom, Dick or Barry, in a pantomime of a democratic administrative executive office, and as is clearly evidenced with The Plain Truth here ……http://youtu.be/dX41SkKN0tQ

And that doesn't bode well for the Land of the Free No More, MeThinks.

I am reminded of General Custer's last words …. "Injuns? What Injuns?" and of something Einstein is supposed to have said with regard to infinity .... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Isn't the whole point of Wikileaks that it presents the information as is, with no editorialisation, editing or otherwise changing of the source material, except where that protects sources, or innocents?

Assange seems to use this argument when he doesn't want to edit material, but says he's a journalist when he wants to edit and editorialise. He cannot have it both ways.

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Journalism is a bit of a broad term.

Broadly speaking, a journal is a record of events and a journalist is one who writes or edits a journal. This includes newspapers and magazines, but is not limited to such.

He gathers information about events and publishes as is - so he is creating a journal, hence he is a journalist. It does not mean he is a *good* journalist, or that the journal is accurate, unbiased, relevant, interesting or even in good taste, only that it is a journal and he, by creating it, is a journalist.

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Bronze badge

I'd like to know how he became a journalist, how long it took and how much effort went into becoming one.

OTOH, I suppose I could reshape the lines cynically uttered by an 'artist' when interviewed by David Frost; "It's art if I say it is".

The 'emperor' has no clothes.

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Anonymous Coward

ignorance is bliss

A lot of people fall into the everything was better when I didn't know what was going on camp.

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The First Amendment of the US Constitution..

No need to conjecture on the role of press on the wording of the Constitution. Here is the First Amendment, in its entirety:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Nothing in there about Journalists. Assange's problem with the Constitution come from the Treason definition:

Section 3 - Treason

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

... his problems stem more from the Sedition act of 1918. THAT act is a bit more scary.

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