Essay about Wikileaks and Julian Assange

3373 Words14 Pages
‘I am the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier and all the rest. If you have a problem with me, piss off’
(Julian Assange, 2010, as cited in Poulsen & Zetter, 2010)

Introduction
In his article, The Mediatisation of Society Theory, Hjarvard (2008) deduces that media simultaneously become an integrated part of society, not to mention the existence of new media like the Internet. In fact, this integration of Internet into our daily life has made us live in the digital age where information is shared in real time and in global context. Castells (2007) even argues that in this digital age, people are able to expand their local communication activities to
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377). Moreover, Assange’s determination to “help whistleblowers that would expose wrongdoings of government and private enterprises” (Gunnell, 2011, p. 32 ) is believed has transformed the ideas of global communication process.
Related to that, this essay is written as an effort to comprehend the role of individual in globalized world, especially by studying the case of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. This essay is divided in three parts. The first part of this essay explains background as well as global controversy surrounding Wikileaks and its spokesman, Julian Assange. The second part identifies the areas that Assange have directly impacted, especially in terms of participation, journalism practice and privacy. Finally, the last part of this essay reflects on Assange’s role in the globalized media economy, particularly drawing on his background as an Australian as well as the position of Australia in global economy.

The Curios Case of Wikileaks and Julian Assange
Claimed by its founder to be a non-profit organization/website, Wikileaks was firstly launched in 2006. Some call it an open government group that enables public witnessing (Nayar, 2011; Rosewall & Warren, 2010), while others see it as a representation of a new type of “sovereignty in the global political and economy sphere” (Bodó, 2011, p. 3). The website uses the term “wiki” which was followed after Wikipedia due to its anonymous contributors and

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