Posted by: Ciaran | December 14, 2010

In the picture: Julian Assange

I’m not going to add my tuppence worth to the ongoing debate over the Wikileaks cables or the allegations against Julian Assange – they have already been (and will no doubt continue to be) covered everywhere across all media platforms, and from just about every conceivable standpoint.

My observation is, in the grand scheme of things, much more trivial. But it still resonated with me, because I genuinely can’t remember having seen an instance of it before.

Broadcast news, when covering a court case where a defendant or convict is being brought to or from court in a prison van, will almost always cut away to a shot of said van arriving at or departing from court. And normally, the shot will include a number of photographers with their cameras held over their heads, pointed more in hope than expectation at the heavily tinted van windows.

But until today, as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrived for his court hearing in London, I can’t remember a single news outlet ever using one of those shots. In a month, or a week, or even just a day or two, people probably won’t even stop to think about it. But it just seemed to me to be one more small example of how much of a media game-changer Assange – and, in a wider sense, Wikileaks – have been over the past few weeks, in particular.

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