At the centre of a media storm: The Frontline and WikiLeaks in links
It’s not every day that the world’s media descends on 13 Norfolk Place.
But on Monday at noon the eyes of the British and international media were firmly fixed on our forum room as WikiLeaks editor and founder Julian Assange explained and defended the release of more than 90,000 confidential US military records on the war in Afghanistan at a swiftly arranged press conference.
You can read our account of that meeting and see the full video here.
To say this story captured the media’s imagination is an understatement and pictures of the club found their way onto the front and inside pages of The Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian
Here’s just a flavour of the best coverage of this explosive story:
- Guardian.co.uk – one of the titles that was given access to the files before publication and collaborated with WikiLeaks in interpreting them – has a wide range of text and video coverage, a comprehensive map and a snappy video of the Frontline press conference.
- The New York Times – along with German paper Der Speigel – was also given advance access to the files and its coverage can all be found here.
- Many titles focused on Assange’s statement that "It is up to a court to decide clearly whether something is in the end a crime. That said, on the face of it, there does appear to be evidence of war crimes in this material." As well as the Guardian, Telegraph.co.uk, Independent.co.uk, Channel 4, Yahoo, Mirror.co.uk and many more UK titles carried that quote.
- It’s the international coverage that really astounds: stood in front of Don McCullin’s haunting portrait of a US soldier in Vietnam in our forum room, assange was on newspaper front pages in Colombia, Argentina, Portugal, Kuwait, Ireland and many regional newspapers in the US.
- Here are just a few of the newspaper front pages from around the world…
- As for broadcast spots, the stations that took a live feed of the press conference included Sky News, Al-Jazeera and BBC Radio Five Live - and BBC's Newsnight conducted its own interview with Assange (in our training room, as it happens) last night.
- Among the media commentators Roy Greenslade concluded that the newspapers, including his, The Guardian, were right to publish the documents. Jeff Jarvis quotes Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger: “I think the Afghan leaks make the case for journalism,” Rusbridger said. “We had the people and expertise to make sense of it.” The Columbia Journalism Review had this to say about the media response of saying that there is 'nothing new' in the documents released. In his analysis, Jay Rosen writes that Wikileaks is the "world's first stateless news organisation". Alex Madrigal of TheAtlantic.com writes that "the publication of these documents will be seen as a milestone in the new news ecosystem".
See also our text and video coverage of a special public event with Assange held at the club on Tuesday.