The prestigious Walkley Foundation
has awarded whistle-blower Wikileaks its Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism
award, stating: “WikiLeaks applied new technology to penetrate the inner workings of government to reveal an avalanche of inconvenient truths in a global publishing coup.”
Were it not for WikiLeaks, according to Walkley Trustees, many of the world’s major publishers were able to take advantage of the secret cables released by Wikileaks, giving them “more scoops in a year than most journalists could imagine in a lifetime.”
On Monday in Hong Kong, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed journalists via videolink from England, where he remains under house arrest. Speaking to the News World Summit, he called the Internet “the most significant surveillance machine that we have ever seen,” noting the tremendous amount of information people are willing to give up about themselves online, Agence France Presse
During his 40-minute address, Assange criticized mainstream media, the Washington political machine and the banking industry.
Regarding the US Department of Justice’s whistle-blower investigation into WikiLeaks for releasing sensitive and embarrassing document, including the now-famous and equally disturbing Collateral Murder
video, Assange noted “The United States government
does not want legal protection for us,” according to AFP.
Assange punctuated his address when the conference moderator asked if the WikiLeaks founder was a member of the journalism profession. “Of course I’m a goddamn journalist,” Assange responded, in what AFP called “affected frustration.”
The Walkey Foundation’s broad aims “are to support and encourage professional and ethical journalism and promote and reward excellence in the Australian media,” according to its website.