I’m cleaning out my email inbox a little — just a little — and I re-read a message from CJ Huxford, the coordinator of Western’s student chapter of SPJ. He was passing along a post he found on the FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) Blog about the rhetoric surrounding WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. The post and message were from early December 2010, when the rhetoric was flying about Assange being a terrorist, guilty of espionage, etc. Although it seems that fervor has cooled now that 2012 presidential speculation is heating up (and Charlie Sheen is melting down), the message to journalists should remain. Think what you will about Assange; journalists who publish documents in order to better act as watchdogs should not and must not be attacked. Good journalism informs people and, in turn, empowers them as citizens. Good journalists are friends of the citizenry, not enemies of the state.
Dec. 1 FAIR Blog post here. It’s a short and important read.