Griffith Review - Rebel, Public Nuisance and Dreamer: Julian Assange Standing Alone
At the launch of the celebrated quarterly journal Griffith REVIEW 32: Wicked Problems, Exquisite Solutions, UK journalist Barbara Gunnell outlines the arguments from her lead essay exploring ‘Whistleblowers, Wikileaks and Journalism’ with fellow journalist Margaret Simons.
Gunnell and Simons discuss various questions relating to the organisation’s formation and context, and the reactions it has spawned – angering the US government and inspiring youths in Africa and the Middle East to rebel against their leaders. Is Assange a journalist? How did he come to found Wikileaks, and would something like it have emerged without him?
Through this compelling conversation, we explore how mainstream media outlets have dealt with Wikileaks as both information source and controversy. Are Assange and his organisation acting responsibly? Are heads of state and journalists?
Barbara Gunnell is a writer and editor based in London. From 1992 to 97 Barbara was assistant editor of the Independent on Sunday, comment editor of the Observer from 2002 to 2006 and associate editor of the New Statesman from 2006 until 2009.
Margaret Simons is Associate Professor in the School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University. In 2015, she won the Walkley Award for Social Equity Journalism. Her recent books include Six Square Metres, Self-Made Man: The Kerry Stokes Story, What's Next in Journalism?, Journalism at the Crossroads and Malcolm Fraser: The Political Memoirs, co-written with former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Fraser. The latter won both the Book of the Year and the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction at the NSW Premier's Literary Awards 2011.
In addition to her academic work, Margaret regularly writes for the Saturday Paper, the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, Griffith Review, the Monthly and other publications.