The Digital Journalist

The journalistic field, boundaries, and disquieting change

Authored by: Scott A. Eldridge

The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138887961
eBook ISBN: 9781315713793
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315713793-5

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Abstract

Championing some of the biggest news stories of the early twenty-first century, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Julian Assange describes his organization as part of a “healthy, vibrant and inquisitive journalistic media” (WikiLeaks, 2015) that embraces the values of the ‘fourth estate’ (Lynch, 2012). Meanwhile, journalists and media critics describe him as a hacker, an activist, and a ‘provocateur’ (Carr, 2010; Shafer, 2012), who is dismissed by others as a ‘seething jerk’ (Shafer, 2010), a “self-publicising prig with messianic tendencies” (Evans, 2011), and the leader of the ‘Wikicult’ (Moore, 2010). News stories repeatedly characterize WikiLeaks as “a stateless organization that operates in an online world without borders” (Carr, 2011), and although Assange sees himself as a member of the journalistic field, he is described as a technological rogue on “the hacktivist fringe of the internet” (Guardian, 2010).

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