Wikileaks Chief to Write Monthly Column in Top Swedish Online Tabloid
August 15, 2010 10:14 PM
Wikileaks' chief Julian Assange will write a monthly column for Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet as part of his bid for Swedish legal protections. Assange met with Aftonbladet's Chief Director, Jan Helin, to discuss the upcoming role.
One of the oldest tabloids, Aftonbladet was also among the first to jump online and remains one of the largest internet sites in Europe.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Tabloid has been running strong since 1830 -- was among first worldwide to adopt internet publishing
Embroiled in an
international politics controversy
and owner of one the internet's most divisive properties, what's a man to do? Well, if you're Julian Assange, founder and chief of whistleblowing site
, the answer is apparently "write for a tabloid".
The Australian native who rose to infamy as a hacker in the late 1980s and early 1990s, announced in a Saturday
[Swedish] with Swedish tabloid
that he would be joining the staff. A translation of the interview can be found
In the interview, when asked what is column will be about, Assange comments, "About press issues and about what's happening around the world. There might be some scoops."
Asked how frequently he will write, he replies, "Once a month."
Assange has worked with and written content for a number of high profile publications, including
The New York Times
(British newspaper), and
(German magazine), but has never been a regular columnist. Nonetheless he considers himself a standards bearer of the journalistic mantle, speaking at many press events about
and whistleblowing journalism.
If one picked a tabloid to write for, they'd be hard pressed to find one more storied than
. The publication was founded in 1830 by Lars Johan Hierta. In its early days it was banned and renamed 26 times by Sweden's king before he finally gave up and consented to its publication.
The publication was among the first tabloids worldwide to jump online, making the transition in 1994. It is consistently ranked among the top five Swedish websites in traffic, along with
The Pirate Bay
There's a couple of potential reasons why Assange might pick to write for
other than merely a love for tabloid journalism.
operates a number of servers in Sweden and is
currently seeking a license
to get full journalistic protections. An official column in
could help its case.
is reportedly very cash strapped and Assange's payments could offset his costly lifestyle, which features a great deal of travel. Assange in the interview stated, "We need more money. We're getting more materials than we can handle today. We need to hire more help. We've received $1 million in donations so far this year but it's not enough."
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