How we reshaped the narrative in the UK media by educating the public about the fundamental issues at stake
We were engaged in 2020 by Wikileaks and non-profit organisation, the Wau Holland Foundation, to lead a strategic communications campaign on behalf of Julian Assange, addressing common misconceptions about his case.
Julian Assange is fighting extradition to the US for publishing confidential documents that exposed war crimes and human rights abuses relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He was charged under the US Espionage Act by the Trump administration. It is the first time a publisher has ever been indicted and Press freedom groups around the world have denounced it as a dangerous attack on journalism.
However, Assange’s case has always been divisive and our strategy was to re-shape the narrative by educating journalists and commentators about the fundamental issues at stake. His media campaign had lacked clarity and we created a single communications hub to handle all media inquiries.
Working closely with Julian’s wife, Stella, we have reshaped perceptions in the UK media through high-profile interviews; private briefings with editors; a thought leadership program; and regular updates on the protracted legal campaign.
We have secured and managed stand-out profile interviews in influential media outlets, such as The Sunday Times and Times magazines; BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire and HARDtalk; ITV’s Good Morning Britain; and TalkTV with Piers Morgan. Stella has been featured across all leading publications, including the Mail on Sunday, the Guardian, The Observer, Independent, Daily Telegraph, Mail Online and the Financial Times.
Our media outreach is not limited to the UK and we have worked extensively with broadcasters and publications globally, including in Australia, the US, China, Germany, France and Spain. We have worked with the Foreign Press Association, setting up briefings for correspondents based in the UK.
Since Julian Assange’s extradition was blocked by a UK judge in 2021 and then overturned on appeal by the US, we have managed media relations during a series of court hearings and further appeals, providing a clear narrative to explain complex legal proceedings.
We set up, organised and promoted a crowd justice legal fundraising page to explain the issues and to secure funding for the campaign. This has been a key source of information for supporters and has secured more than £400,000 of funding for the legal team to continue fighting extradition.
Our work has also encompassed securing and designing above the line advertisements in media publications such as the Times, Metro, Evening Standard and the Guardian. At key moments in the campaign, we commissioned guerrilla projections around London that showed supportive videos for the Assange campaign and highlighted his continuing incarceration in Belmarsh Prison.
During the campaign we have successfully challenged assumptions about the case, making freedom of speech the key issue, and media outlets around the world are now calling on the US to drop extradition proceedings against Julian Assange.
Pieces of national, print and broadcast coverage
Legal funding secured through Crowdjustice
Key court dates attended