The Listening Post

Julian Assange: Within Washington’s grasp?

Is journalism at risk or is it personal? Plus, the Polish priest whose mini media empire packs a political punch.

This week on The Listening Post: Julian Assange – is journalism at risk or is it personal? Plus, the priest whose mini media empire packs a political punch.

Assange: Within Washington’s grasp?

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was forced out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London last week, the debates that appeared on the airwaves, online and in print went to the core of what constitutes journalism.

Assange’s supporters denounced his arrest as an assault on freedom of information; a potential threat for journalists around the world who expose secrets in the public interest.

Others maintain that WikiLeaks traffics in raw data, not news stories – that Assange does not deserve the legal protection that real journalists get.

Look beyond the law, however, and you will find there is no escaping the politics of this story – and the mainstream media’s own role in it.


Jennifer Robinson – lawyer for Julian Assange
Evgeny Morozov – author, The Net Delusion
Dan Froomkin – journalist,
Bradley P Moss – National security lawyer

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Johanna Hoes about the publication, in redacted form, of the long-awaited US Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s Russia investigation report.

Radio Maryja and the media empire of Poland’s polarising priest

A story of a Catholic priest and his radio station that lie at the heart of Poland‘s politics.

For nearly 30 years, Tadeusz Rydzyk has been preaching and broadcasting from the pulpit. His station, Radio Maryja, doesn’t attract particularly large audiences.

However, politically, Radio Maryja punches far above its weight. Anyone running for office in Poland knows that; the current populist government included.

Tadeusz Rydzyk is such a divisive figure, his mini-media empire so polarising, that one journalist has written a stage play about this story. It opened a few weeks back, and – much like Rydzyk himself – it’s getting mixed reviews.

The Listening Post‘s Flo Phillips reports from Poland on the tangled web of politics, power, the priesthood and the press that Rydzyk embodies.


Magdalena Chrzczonowicz – managing editor,
Piotr Głuchowski – author, Emperor
Marcin Kącki – reporter, Gazeta Wyborcza and playwright, Enemy is Born
Ireneusz Krzeminski – author, What Does Radio Maryja Teach Us? and Professor of Sociology, Warsaw University