A reader writes:
The real issue with the 90,000 odd documents Wikileaks posted is not who is a journalist or not. As the mother of a disabled Iraq combat veteran, I have some strong opinions about the media's complicity in the lead up to the war. It was the mainstream media's mediocre coverage of the war during my Marine son's two tours - the initial invasion and later a tour in Ramadi - that led me to the wonderful and informative world of alternative media sites, even yours. The real issue of the Wikileaks site is that it does, as Assange claims, reveal a picture of war completely unavailable through most US media. It reveals a glimpse of the horror my child experienced and participated in, and that his family now lives with, that simply is not available to the average reader of daily newspapers with so-called 'journalistic cred'.
Moynihan can wrinkle his nose all he wants but I for one appreciate knowing the real world and only wish my son had known it sooner.
Defining the term journalist is like shooting at a moving target nowadays.
I can remember not so long ago when bloggers were derided as non-journalists. And yet here you are and many others, recognized for your contributions in the distribution of important information. Just because you and your peers may have arrived at your current occupation from the traditional (mainstream) media does not preclude that another individual may be approaching another form of news distribution from an entirely different tangent - say that of a hacker. In fact, such a person can only help light a fire under the asses of typical journos who are so quick to dismiss Assange.
I have to sort of agree with Yglesias on the whole Wikileaks/journalism debate; does it really matter? Whether Julian Assange is a journalist or not is a matter solely of definition - definitions which are chosen and biased based on personal experiences and worldview. Someone who considers journalism a good thing and is negative towards Assange for some reason is obviously going to try to deny him a place in whatever circle they draw to include journalists.