Note that Assange clearly posits himself as a member of the media, a claim that has been the subject of much debate since WikiLeaks first began leaking. Earlier in the op-ed, Assange elaborates on his idea of WikiLeaks as a vital part of a vital media—claims he was making less surely just months ago, but which now might prove advantageous in attracting support.

WikiLeaks coined a new type of journalism: scientific journalism. We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?

Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest. WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.

He signs off as WikiLeaks’s editor-in-chief.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.