ASSANGE EXTRADITION: Substantive Hearing Begins Monday on Assange’s Fate; CN Plans Extensive Coverage

Here’s how you can help us cover the media trial of the century.

Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London 1903. (Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

Consortium News has arguably provided the best and most extensive coverage of the case of imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange of any media outlet in the world. 

First, the Establishment media has virtually ignored Assange since his dramatic arrest at the hands of British police, who physically carried him out of the Ecuador Embassy on April 11, 2019. 

Second, most alternative media have covered Assange but have not made it the centerpiece it deserves to be.  It does so because what once seemed unthinkable has happened:  two Western governments who think of themselves as beacons of democracy, are working to extradite a man to life in prison in the United States because of journalism that has revealed undemocratic, even criminal behavior, by those governments. 

And that has put all of journalism on trial.  If corporate media doesn’t sufficiently recognize that, perhaps it’s because they are practicing something else.

That’s not what London and Washington are saying, of course.  Because they have such a weak legal case against Assange both governments have resorted to prosecution by public relations, with the eager participation of the Establishment’s media. 

Here’s how you come in. Your past generous donations made possible Consortium News’ blanket coverage of Assange, including our journey to London for the first week of Assange’s hearing in February. 

The pandemic has not made a return trip possible. But we are gearing up for extensive daily news and analysis of events as they unfold inside a courtroom at Central Criminal Court, better known as Old Bailey, one of the most historic courts in the world, and certainly in Britain. 

While we won’t be in the courtroom as we were in Woolwich Crown Court in February, we have been granted remote observer status by the Ministry of Justice to watch the proceedings every day, streamed live online in a feed not available to the public.

With that feed we will provide daily accounts of the blow by blow.  In addition, our writers will tell you what it means. Consortium News will also compile a daily digest of the best reporting on the case from other publications, including from Craig Murray, everyone’s man inside the court.

CN Live! will every weekend assemble a panel of experts on Assange’s case to recap the week’s events.  This weekend CN Live! will preview the case with our first Assange special. Stay tuned for details. This is in addition to video coverage from outside the courtroom furnished to us by Juan Passarelli, who has been documenting events at Assange’s side for ten years, as well as spot video interviews as they develop. 

You can do your part to keep Consortium News as Assange Central with a very generous donation to our 25th Anniversary Fall Fund Drive.  Please do so today.


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Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former UN correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other newspapers. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London and began his professional career as a stringer for The New York Times.  He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .