The Listening Post

On trial: Julian Assange and journalism

Julian Assange’s trial and its consequences for journalism. Plus, prison journalism in the US.

On The Listening Post this week: To extradite or not to extradite: Julian Assange’s trial and its consequences for journalism. Plus, prison journalism in the US.

On trial: Julian Assange and journalism 

We begin with the legal fate of Julian Assange. This past week saw the commencement of a court case that will determine whether Britain should extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States.

The US government has charged Assange for his part in the release of classified military documents – he’s looking at a maximum prison sentence of 175 years.

Assange’s advocates say he has little chance of getting a fair trial in the US and, if sent there, he could end up facing conditions amounting to torture.

It is a case against Julian Assange and, by implication, modern-day journalism.


Stefania Maurizi – Investigative journalist

James Ball – Global editor, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Rebecca Vincent – UK bureau director, Reporters Without Borders

Nils Melzer – UN special rapporteur on torture

On our radar:

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about the “Delhi Riots” and the difficulties journalists are facing in trying to cover them.

America’s Jailhouse Journalists

More than two million people live within the American prison system. That is roughly equivalent to the population of a city like Las Vegas, imprisoned across the country.

The stories of what really goes on inside are seldom heard. For journalists who have tried, access is the issue, with prison authorities usually controlling who gets in and what stories get out.

But some prisoners are determined to make this a beat of their own. The journalism they produce behind bars is of real value, both for audiences and the reporters involved.

The Listening Post’s Flo Phillips on the ultimate inside story – prison journalism in the US.


John J Lennon – Inmate journalist from Sing Sing Prison & contributing editor, Esquire Magazine

Troy Williams – Founder, San Quentin Prison Report & founder, Restorative Media Project

Kerry Myers – Former editor, The Angolite & deputy executive director, The Parole Project

Sam Robinson – Information officer, San Quentin Prison

Yukari Iwatani Kane – Adviser, San Quentin News