GUEST BLOG: Alan Preston – Our media have collectively failed Assange and Democracy

Our media have collectively failed by omission to uphold a fundamental principle in the NZ Media Council’s preamble.
Multi-award  winning Australian publisher and founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange has been in arbitrary detention since 2012,1773 days in solitary  confinement in London’s Belmarsh prison, subject to ‘psychological  torture’ and ‘intimidation and reprisals’ (U.N.) for publishing the U.S. military’s own records of its serious,systematic breaches of the Geneva Conventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
New  Zealanders For Julian Assange, an informal group set up in 2021 have  been actively providing information, updates and encouraging media to report on this pivotal case in order to ensure New Zealanders be  informed about what is arguably THE turning point in our civilization  with serious implications for transparent, accountable democratic  governance. Zero response.

The only realistic way NZers might substantially influence the abandonment of Assange’s  imminent extradition is by a groundswell of public opinion demanding a  diplomatic protest to the U.S. and U.K. governments – which are  ironically now condemning Russia for the death of Alexei Navalny – but  alas, by having refused/neglected/forgotten/to report on the case of  Julian Assange, New Zealanders remain largely oblivious and unconcerned  about the seriousness of this case.  Go figure.

Alan William Preston for New Zealanders For Julian Assange



Alan Preston is a key activist in New Zealand fighting for Assange


  1. Our media hasn’t failed, it is doing its job – serving the interests of the powerful few (and their political puppets). New Zealanders, like the world at large are”oblivious and unconcerned” by design. We are interested and concerned when our captured media/political worlds push us to be and “oblivious and unconcerned” when these same worlds prefer we be this way also.

    Nothing is by accident! Democracy, its an illusion.

    • It’s been an interesting few years of learning the actualities of how power works , about how the checks and balances have pretty much been captured by power, how tightly run a ship our civilization is, how difficult it is to motivate others to commit to actual meaningful action…
      I’ve done what I’ve done, others have provided support and encouragement ….. I’m involved with other grassroots democratic communities but I’ve been forced to conclude from experience that New Zealanders ( human societies in general probably ) live according to the myths we tell ourselves about ourselves – and belief in those myths exonerates us from actually being those things.
      e.g. We are a democracy….

      • We can be a democracy again, but only if we understand and then counter the force subverting democracy today, the big-money capture of both politics and the information sphere that purposely blinds us to this captured, broken political system.

        What did Julian do but expose the criminal actions of officialdom. And what did officialdom do to him in return! Are these the actions of people working for us, no they are not. They are captured, and they work diligently to ensure that we do not know about this. That is not a democracy in any shape, or form.

        Nonetheless, more power to you. Respect.

      • I’ve long been aware of the role energy plays in our economy and the consequent political structures. We are at peak oil, peak energy, peak complexity. Peak political control, peak repression, peak suppression.

        The Assange saga reflects this world, he used the power of technology against the controllers of technology. He took their energy, their technology and turned it on their heads. The Internet, the greatest tool of communication and control mirrored against power. Unforgivable.

        The good news is that the extreme wealth and political power requires extreme energy. That is in decline. The bad news is that we will still need Assange to fight power and wealth, that may decline but it is not going away.

        The challenge to power must continue.

  2. The disgustingly lame New Zealand Free Speech Union will not even champion the FREEDOM of an aussie brother journalist.

    The New Zealand politicians will not even stand with our Australian ally’s PM Albanese and support Freedom for Assange.

    Does Winston stand for Freedom of Speech, Journalistic Freedom, Press Freedom or has he gone all wimpy woke cancellation?

  3. There seems to be a trend to fossilise in supposedly open thinking organisations – people with spirit and conviction, get worn out and steady as she goes and staunch, takes over and plays safe with few changes incrementally made. Either that or the organisation gets taken over by another group and changes direction; but often keeping the same name and appearing to have similar beliefs – eg the ‘Labour’ Party.

    • Traitors who collaborate with Americans? He could have killed millions of those, and not one human ‘person’ would have died.

    • Killed with his leaks! How many people in the thousands did he save with his leaks, and how many did he warn as to possible future calamities? We can’t know how many and compared to the twisted masters of force in the Forces and the Politicians any downside would be miniscule. My father died in WW2 and if Assange’s leaks led to a few deaths to prevent another like that he is a hero. Don’t you leer and sneer.!

      Don’t be a smart-arse and take Scot off your pseudo – they have ever been brave and gone for integrity in their actions.

      Amnesty International Australia › What’s new
      4 days ago — JULIAN ASSANGE HIGH COURT HEARING: GLOBAL MEDIA FREEDOM IS ON TRIAL. 14 February 2024. Ahead of Julian Assange’s next hearing in the UK

      Julian Assange High Court Hearing: Global media freedom …
      Amnesty International UK › press-releases › julian-assa…
      5 days ago — Amnesty experts will be at High Court hearing (20-21 February) which could determine his fate in long-running extradition battle Assange could

  4. How many?

    So far not one person has been named as having died because of Assange’s journalism.

    Assanges journalism has shown war crimes being committed and not one war criminal has been imprisoned but the journalist rots in jail.

  5. It wasn’t the media that failed him – useless though they are since Wupert taught them to lie – it was the Australian state, that should have riden to the defense of their citizen. But, like the NZ state they are corrupt, self-serving, and venal. Woe betide any individual that depends on any of them actually doing their job.

  6. Julian Assange is the West’s Alexander Navalny. Shocking and terrible that he has been jailed for so long and no end in sight. Who is the great collective keeping him behind bars? In Russia, you have Putin, but scarily in the west it’s successive democracies in US,UK, Australia….so fucked up.


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