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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

'NYT' Hit for Labeling Journalist in Manning Case an 'Activist'

UPDATENYT just corrected online, adding "and independent journalist." In note at bottom they mention her activist activities but admit she is "not solely an activist."

Earlier:  I've covered Alexa O'Brien's steadfast journalistic work in covering the Bradley Manning hearings and now trial, where she is, along with Kevin Gosztola (co-author of our book on the Manning case), the most steadfast attendee, going back more than 18 months.  Now she's written a pointed letter to the two New York Times writers who penned a piece late yesterday on WikiLeaks, which referred to her merely as an "activist who was present in court."  She's asking for a correction.  It continues the vital debate this week, set off by slams against Glenn Greenwald in the Snowden affair, over whether a "partisan" can really be a "journalist."  But she also gets in a dig at the Times for failing to cover the trial on an ongoing basis.  Recent profile of her here.

Dear Mr. Carr and Mr. Somaiya,
I expect that you will correct your recent article on the U.S. Investigation of WikiLeaks found here.

I am a journalist-- and the proper title for me is journalist, most especially because Mr. Somaiya has solicited information published by me in my capacity as a journalist-- and I am more than happy to publish my detailed and lengthy email exchange with him for the public.
Mr. Carr, Mr. Somiya, Mr. Bill Keller, The New York Times and other publications have used or linked to my work.  I have been a credentialed member of the press at Fort Meade, MD for 18 month.  My work covering the Manning trial was short listed for the 2013 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (not activism). I have received a grant from the Freedom of the Press Foundation for journalism for my coverage of the Manning trial (not for activism).
I find the term activist used here by Mr. Carr and Mr Somaiya-- pejorative. So, you will accordingly correct your error immediately.
I am at Fort Meade, where are you, New York Times?
You are reading my journalistic work, using my journalistic work, capitalizing off of my journalistic work, and linking to my journalistic work about the largest criminal investigation ever into a publisher and its source.
More importantly, you are not here.
Alexa O'Brien

1 comment:

cheapmeister said...

I was on a panel once with Somaiya, it does not surprise me in the least that he would stoop to this. A "company man" rather than a journalist is how I would describe him.