The Future of Journalism by Journalists: The Case of Julian Assange and Press Freedom

As a data-driven creative agency, we work with journalists towards the common goal of ethical and innovative journalism practices. By working with datasets ourselves, we understand first-hand the importance of credible data and its role in the future of global journalism. Taking an impartial stance towards this case but holding the belief that journalists around the world deserve to express their differing views, we hope that this starts a conversation in the press regarding the future of journalism.

Julian Assange, Co-Founder of WikiLeaks, has been called both a friend and foe. By revealing classified data such as the Guantanamo Bay operating procedures, 2010 U.S. diplomatic cables leak, and Iraqi war logs, WikiLeaks has received instant international attention for not only exposing human rights violations and war crimes, but also for its ambiguous ethical behavior when leaking lucrative information.

Irrespective of whether or not the activities of WikiLeaks are considered journalistic or simply data dumping, the details of the indictment against Assange by the U.S. Department of Justice on 11 April 2019 could potentially risk the principles which are essential to exposing government crime, and the future of investigative journalistic practices*.

With the goal to understand this complex and polarising issue, we wanted to seek the opinions of those greatly affected by the outcome – journalists. To find out how journalists view this case and its potential implications, we sent a poll to a diverse range of reporters around the world asking a handful of questions. We included some questions which may be provocative, but believe that they are relevant to getting to the heart of this issue.

Participants of the poll could choose to remain anonymous. We received responses from 22 nations in 5 continents, with 31% of journalists coming from the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. We hope that the findings of this poll provides an insight into the evolving state of journalism and draws attention to the possible impacts of this case on journalistic practices.

Below you will find the results of the United States, of participants coming from all other countries, and worldwide.

* For a more detailed explanation about the U.S. indictment against Julian Assange and its ties to journalistic practices, please find a case briefing and methodology below the results.

Instructions

Those charts are interactive, please hover on the charts to view its percentage.

Click on the legend to remove the specified region when viewing the charts. All units of the charts are measured in percentages.

If you would like to use any of our charts, please feel free to do so. You can download our graphs in our press kit below (available on Google Drive):

 

Is WikiLeaks a news organization?

Global Results

U.S.A

Global excluding the U.S.A.

Should WikiLeaks be protected by the First Amendment as a publisher?

Global Results

U.S.A

Global excluding the U.S.A.

Should Julian Assange be punished for publishing unfiltered data given to him by a whistleblower?

Global Results

U.S.A

Global excluding the U.S.A.

Should whistleblowers face the law if they intercepted information illegally?

Global Results

U.S.A

Global excluding the U.S.A.

“Governments must have secrets, and they are entitled to defend them as best they can.” Do you agree or disagree?

"Journalists and whistleblowers have a role to act as an opposition to the government." Do you agree or disagree?

If Assange released classified da