According to the mother of his children Julian Assange is in a fight for his life, and it should be widely understood that international freedom of the press is in a similar situation with him. Journalism is the production and distribution of reports on current or past events, and is protected under American, British and Australian law (Assange is an Australian national), however all these countries have done their best to paint Assange as a hacker, or to distance themselves from the issue. Assange's lawyers are arguing in his defence that he should be protected under the First Amendment of the US constitution, but also against extradition, claiming that Assange will not receive a fair trial in the US "because of an effective declaration of war on leakers and journalists” .
Despite Assange publishing evidence on past events as many other journalists have, much of this is seen as embarrassing to the US, such as the video of the 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 11 people, including two Reuters journalists. As a result the US extradition seems more of a witch-hunt, with Amnesty International describing it as "a negative public campaign by US officials at the highest levels" . This whole trial seems increasingly ridiculous when you consider not only the clear journalistic practice of Wikileaks, but also the fact that Chelsea Manning was already pardoned by Obama for her involvement in the same series of leaks Assange is being targeted for. This is increasingly shocking considering Manning's re-arrest, torture, and fining of $256,000, for refusing to testify against Julian Assange in a grand jury investigation in 2019-20.
One of the counts that Assange stands accused of is simply seeing the information that Manning had to leak, if Assange is actually prosecuted for this then any number of journalists in the field could be technically felons. This could set a precedent that it would be up to the US government which journalists they wanted to prosecute and those that they didn't, across the globe. In this way Assange is just a high profile worst offender, if the US can get away with charging Assange under the Espionage act for online journalistic practices in another country, any journalist that publishes anything the US doesn't like could become a target of this new move towards journalistic illiberalism. On the most foundational level Assange is on trial for publishing factual information, publishing the truth, US war crimes, in the public interest, if using hacked material is off limits for journalists then we need to wave goodbye to international investigative journalism.