NYT uses work of journalist covering Manning hearings, refuses to call her a journalist

[Update: The New York Times issues a correction.]

Alexa O'Brien, the independent journalist who has been doggedly covering the Bradley Manning case and has been in court every day at Ft. Meade, doing what the New York Times hadn't—covering the pretrial hearings every day from court— wrote a scathing letter to the Times after they published this piece updating the legal proceedings against Wikileaks and Mannings, but referred to her as "an activist." The Times article has a lot of new information about the case, and it's worth reading. But O'Brien's letter is well worth a read, too:

Letter to David Carr, Ravi Somaiya, and The New York Times #Slacktavists

Dear Mr. Carr and Mr. Somaiya,

I expect that you will correct your recent article on the U.S. Investigation of WikiLeaks found here.

I am a journalist– and the proper title for me is journalist, most especially because Mr. Somaiya has solicited information published by me in my capacity as a journalist– and I am more than happy to publish my detailed and lengthy email exchange with him for the public.

Mr. Carr, Mr. Somiya, Mr. Bill Keller, The New York Times and other publications have used or linked to my work.

I have been a credentialed member of the press at Fort Meade, MD for 18 month.

My work covering the Manning trial was short listed for the 2013 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism (not activism).

I have received a grant from the Freedom of the Press Foundation for journalism for my coverage of the Manning trial (not for activism).

I find the term activist used here by Mr. Carr and Mr Somaiya– pejorative. So, you will accordingly correct your error immediately.

I am at Fort Meade. Where are you, New York Times?

You are reading my journalistic work, using my journalistic work, capitalizing off of my journalistic work, and linking to my journalistic work about the largest criminal investigation ever into a publisher and its source.

More importantly, you are not here.


Alexa O'Brien

(Disclosure: I am a proud member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which awarded O'Brien a grant. For her journalism.)