The Listening Post

WikiLeaks: Neutral reporter or political player?

As WikiLeaks hits Hillary Clinton, we ask if it is doing its journalistic mission or interfering in the US election.

On the Listening Post this week: WikiLeaks unveils its Hillary Clinton files – but is it just doing its journalistic mission or interfering in the US election as Ecuador tightens its internet grips on Julian Assange? Plus, Erdogan cracks down on Kurdish media.

WikiLeaks and the controversial Clinton files 

WikiLeaks has made public thousands of leaked emails from the Clinton presidential campaign. Much of it confirms what many already suspected: that Clinton has a far too cozy relationship with bankers and journalists.

Some say the revelations are valuable information for voters. Others have accused Russia of being behind the hack and argue WikiLeaks is aiding foreign interference in the elections. Putting aside the agendas of all the players involved, one institution comes out undeniably sullied by the publication of the emails: the American news media.

Talking us through the story: Zack Beauchamp, world correspondent,; Alex Griswold, media correspondent, Mediaite and Ben Norton, politics reporter, Salon.

And on The Download, two of our viewers weigh in on Wikileaks, the Clinton campaign and allegations of interference in the US elections: Munir Gomaa, a dental student from Chicago; and Caroline Hui, a financial consultant from New York.

On our radar:

  • Ethiopia enforces new restrictions on opposition media as part of a state of emergency declared two weeks ago.
  • Russian state-owned channel RT has had its bank accounts in the UK frozen.
  • Malaysia’s government continues its harassment of cartoonist, Lunar, after he is blocked from leaving the country.

Kurdish media under pressure

Late last month, 25 media outlets – most of them Kurdish – were ordered closed by Turkey’s broadcast regulator. As the national state of emergency is extended, more and more Kurdish journalists find they are being treated as enemies of the state.

The Listening Post‘s Flo Phillips reports on the Kurdish media outlets struggling to survive in the aftermath of Turkey’s failed coup.