Skip to main content

Why Assange deserves to be Journalist of the Decade


So Julian Assange got beaten to the runners up position of the "Time Person of the Year." Big deal, the guy deserves Journalist of the Decade.

Through his Wikileaks website , Assange has technologically summarised work that would normally have been carried out by hundreds of journalist in different parts of the world.

Through the release of Cablegates, it was made evident that most United States diplomats have a more significant role, other than attending cultural dances in their host countries. In contrast to diplomats from African countries who are usually relatives of the ruling class, or from the same tribe as the ruling class, diplomats for the World's SuperPower are carefully chosen spies, whose role is to investigate and report on a range of issues that may have an impact on the SuperPowers interest and conquest all over the world.

This puts the diplomats in similar ranks to journalists, in the fact that journalists also investigate on a range of issues affecting their community. The interests of the United States and the deeds of several above par citizens in several countries are never far apart.

However, journalists investigating and reporting on several issues in most of this countries often face several hurdles. For instance, drug peddling in Mexico has become such an issue that even a journalist reporting on this risks a drive by shooting in his home. In other regions, journalist may meet similar fates such as accidents, 'robberies' and other form of intimidation from both the ruling class and non ruling class alike. They may find themselves in jail for a range of issues.

At times, the journalist may be lucky enough to finish their assignment and submit it to their editor. However, even the editors have more than often had other interests to serve. This is not often visible to the public as the editors are gods in the media. Depending on who their masters are and on whose bed they wake up on, the editors may decide to kill such stories, or rewrite them in a manner that one party ends up smelling of roses and the other of gun powder. At times, some journalists may loose their jobs for consistent 'bad writing' given that some publications have their masters to serve.

The diplomats, on the other hand , have a master to server who requires the true situation on the ground, given that their reports are required for strategy making.

Therefore, one Julian Assange has done journalists all over the world by consolidating what might have been a dangerous time and money consuming assignment into what is known as Wikileaks. For his troubles, Assange is nunited ow wanted for what are unclear sex charges and it still remains unlclear what charges the United States may press on him.

For millions of readers in the world, unadulterated information and status of what is happening in their countries and regions is now available.

Locally, drug dealers and the reportedly corrupt public servants are no longer numbers in a statement made by the US Ambassador. Most of us may never have dreamt of a day when a Member of parliament would stand to name fellow MPs implicated in a report. Thanks to Wikileaks, names mentioned by Kenya's Security Minister were already in the public domain as he read them in parliament.

If we cross our fingers, we may be lucky enough to read a redacted version of what policy makers in Washington had on the Robert Ouko and John Kaisser death's.

In the United States, president Barrack Obama just repealed a statute that did not allow gays to openly express themselves in the military. While this may be due to the pressure of overzealous gay activists, it may not escape the eyes of a few analysts that a soldier who exposed himself to a "patroitic hacker" as the source of the leaked US Cables says he leaked the information because he felt opressed as a gay US Service Man. Is the repeal of the act an effort to prevent a future occurence?

Which bring's me back to my point. In the perspective of the Journalism industry, Wikileaks has done journalism , with Assange taking the heat for been at the forefront. Wikileaks has saved the lives of a few journalists, as they can now quote "wikileaks" in their reporting. Wikileaks has even saved journalists the agony of "anonymous sources" and sources who part with half the information before getting a change of heart. Wikileaks has saved the lazy journalists a trip to the field, as they can now report from the comfort of their houses, as they happily chat away on Facebook.

As for the source of information published on wikileaks, that shall be the subject of another post. After all, a few critics are wondering if Wikileaks is not a ploy by the Washington inner circle to release information that the media has failed to release to the public. Perhaps, controlled release of this information may be useful in influencing the US strategy worldwide and at home, as it plays victim. The verdict is yours.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Forget Assange and his $1,500,000 corporate book deal (some rebel, what a sell-out), instead read a book that’s really been BANNED like “America Deceived II” by E.A. Blayre III.
Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:
http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000190526
Gramware said…
Strange, thought that its only in Africa where books got banned. Life has never been more interesting.

Popular posts from this blog

Events Surrounding March 2009 KU Riots

Following the much publicized Kenyatta University riots of Wednesday 18th March and Sunday 22nd March 2009, below are my own versions of the happenings leading to and during the riots. I have omitted several occurrences that i did not witness in first or second party. the happenings below are NOT eye witness reports, and are INADMISSIBLE legally. you can help by filling in the missing gaps, by commenting below the note.

The time frames are approximate in nature, and are issued more as checkpoints than as exact time.

Please also note that these are events, rather than causes or results of any action.

First Week of March
KUSA(Kenyatta University Student's Union) Elections

About March 16th 2009
KUSA officials meet the administration to vouch for extension of the Registration Deadline. Several students had paid after the deadline and were denied registration which was to begin on 27th March. Negotiations unsuccessful, with what transpired during the negotiations been unclear.

Tuesday 17…

A Kenyan in Addis Ababa (Part 2) - The "University Girls"

This post continues from Part 1. 

The residents of Addis are friendly too. On my first day, I did meet a guard at a hotel, who later offered to show me around. Among the places he suggested, was this place where some “University girls” were holding some "dancing ceremony". He added, that Ethiopians being Orthodox Christians, were about to go on a sex, alcohol and meat fast, hence the importance of this “ceremony.”
I had some suspicion that I was being sold to sex, but my guide insisted that this was not a sex sale. Just dancing University girls. We did end up in some nondescript compound, and into a house. There was sort of a sitting area, with a radio system, low benches and tables, and grass sprinkled around the floor. Grass sprinkled around the floor is an Ethiopian tradition that indicates you are welcome to a place.

It was about 5 PM,  and the hosts seemed not to be expecting any visitors at this time. My guide disappeared down some corridor into the back to call them. In…

Beers in Kenya: A sober opinion

I have had a short beer swigging stint in my life. It has however been long enough for me to share my opinions of Kenyan beer. Interestingly, over the course of sharing such opinions with other drunkards connoisseurs,  I have found that we all have different views as to what beer is the best, which one makes you too drunk, or which one gives a free,  extra hangover for every hangover you get from it.
For starters, like everyone else, I discovered that beer isn’t as sweet as it looks like in those adverts that show golden barley swaying in breezes,  happy men smiling and toasting chilled, foaming glasses of beer as a deep voice does some narration in the background.
Beer is bitter! Now, it turns out beer is intentionally made bitter. See,  beer shares the same ingredients as bread. The major difference is that bread isn't fermented. Bread is sweet, so why isn't beer sweet?

Why we loved Mixcrate and Where to next?

There are two types of music listeners: those who listen by artist or by album, and those who listen by top hits. The second lot of us do not care much about what other music made it to an album besides the top 2 hits.

Mixcrate served the second lot of us very well. You could search for a song title or an artist, and you would have dozens of DJ mixes to choose from which contained more than the one hit you searched for.

Listening to music on Mixcrate also meant that once you settled into a mix, you had uninterrupted music for the next one hour.

Why Kenyans love Kigali (Part 2)

See part 1 of why Kenyans Love Kigali, which this articl is a continuation.

In my previous post on why Kenyans love Kigali, or Rwanda for that matter, I had mentioned on the security of the city. The post however widely dealt with the feel and appearance of the city, and a little bit of the country.

Both of my visits to Kigali have been through the airport, though you may opt for a more adventurous journey by road. Getting to Kigali then required a Kenyan passport, but no visa. Now, all you need to go through both Uganda and Rwandan borders are a National Identity Card.

For travel by air, Rwandair is a cheaper option for Kenyans as compared to our national flag carrier, Kenya Airways. Ironically, most other Africans get to Kigali via Kenya Airways, thought most Kenyans will opt for the cheaper Rwandair. The flights are comfortable and the service on board the 1 hour 15 minutes flight is great.

Depending on the weather, your landing can be quite full of turbulence in Kigali. The airpor…