“Investigative reporting, particularly on national security matters, cannot be effective unless the reporter’s able to ask the source and talk the source into giving out the information. Journalism is hard. They’re not just going to tell you everything. They’ll tell you whether the sun is shining, but when there’s something that involves malfeasance, they’re going to play you for a sucker for 100 days before they give it out.
“And therefore, you have to wheedle that information out of the source. Now if Assange is convicted, it might be a conviction for wheedling — for gathering the news, for asking questions, for getting stories. So he’ll go to jail for doing what every journalist does.”
–excerpted from Susan Armitage‘s enlightening interview with James Goodale at Columbia Journalism Review. Former Chief Counsel at The New York Times, Mr. Goodale’s new book is called Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles.