It was obvious to a few of us that the indictment by the US government, a government constrained by the First Amendment, of a foreign national for publishing leaked material, an action never before regarded as espionage or a crime, was the beginning of the end of any Western government ever again being held accountable by a free press.
Not that the Western World has a free press. It has a collection of presstitutes that serve as a Ministry of Propaganda for the ruling oligarchies.
Still, in principle it was possible that governments could be held accountable. But that possibility ended with Assange's false indictment.
First of all, no honest government would have spent years trying to invent a way to indict a journalist for practicing journalism.