Chilling effect on the news

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 36 & 37 : 22-Oct-19

The Right to Know coalition is seeking to combat what it contends is the increased suppression of press freedom in Australia. Members of the group include Seven West Media, News Corp Australia, Nine Entertainment, the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance and the ABC. The group believes that there are six key areas where reform is needed, including protections for whistleblowers, changes to the definition of what information should be regarded as secret and changes to defamation laws.

CORPORATES
SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

PM tested on secrecy laws

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 22-Oct-19

The issue of press freedom came under scrutiny in federal parliament on 21 October. Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that any decision to prosecute a journalist should be based on the rule of law rather than the "whim of politicians". Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses has responded by calling for Attorney-General Christian Porter to withdraw a recently-issued directive to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the prosecution of journalists for alleged breaches of four statutes.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

United front in fight for freedom

Original article by Leo Shanahan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 21-Oct-19

The Australian media industry has ramped up its Your Right to Know campaign. Some of the nation’s major newspapers will replace their front pages on 21 October with an advertisement featuring blacked-out content and the question: ‘When the government hides the truth from you, what are they covering up?’. The move is part of the industry’s push to safeguard freedom of the press in the wake of police raids on the home of a News Corp journalist and the ABC’s Sydney offices.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

Secrecy law a burden: HRC

Original article by Nicola Berkovic
The Australian – Page: 5 : 18-Oct-19

Details of submissions to News Corp Australia’s legal challenge to the validity of a police raid on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst have been released. The Australian Human Rights Commission’s submission has broadly supported News Corp’s stance, although it has taken a different legal approach to the issue, arguing that secrecy laws limit the freedom of political expression. Constitutional law expert George Williams, says the two approaches could both support the media group’s view that the raid on Smethurst was unlawful.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Tweaking will not protect journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 4-Oct-19

Attorney-General Christian Porter is at odds with Law Council president Arthur Moses over a ministerial directive that allows him to veto prosecutions against journalists over reports that may breach secrecy laws. Porter’s ministerial directive also seemingly contradicts one issued by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in early August, in the wake of the Australian Federal Police’s media raids. Porter’s ministerial directive could potentially enable him to kill off AFP cases against media companies and journalists that have been sanctioned by Dutton.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

A-G’s media plan misses mark

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 2-Oct-19

The effectiveness of the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists continues to be questioned. News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid contends that providing the attorney-general with ministerial discretion to block legal action against journalists for publishing legitimate news reports will have no effect on the level of scrutiny and investigation into journalists. Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses and Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance CEO Paul Murphy also contend that the reforms are insufficient.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

A-G given veto to safeguard journalists

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 1-Oct-19

News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid says the federal government’s proposal to provide new legal protections for journalists is insufficient. Attorney-General Christian Porter has issued a ministerial direction to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions which will require it to seek permission from the attorney-general to pursue legal action against journalists if such prosecution is deemed to be in the public interest. Law Council president Arthur Moses has also expressed reservations about the reforms.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS

ABC chair Ita Buttrose calls for press freedom campaign

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: Online : 11-Sep-19

ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose says that the media’s ability to report on corruption or maladministration should not be viewed as a threat to national security. Buttrose has told the New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties annual dinner on 10 September that the media needs the backing of the general community to ensure it can do its job properly. The ABC, Nine Entertainment and News Corp Australia have been lobbying the government to amend legislation that impacts the work of journalists, following recent AFP raids on the ABC’s Sydney headquarters and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEW SOUTH WALES COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

PM rejects fears on press freedom

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 2 : 6-Sep-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed that the Coalition is "absolutely" committed to press freedom. He has also expressed his view that there are sufficient protections for whistleblowers, while he has defended the Australian Federal Police over the recent raid on the Canberra home of Australian Signals Directorate officer Cameron Gill. News Corp Australia executive Campbell Reid has claimed that the AFP raid was aimed at intimidating potential whistleblowers into not approaching the media.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA

Lawyers unite to stop erosion of freedoms

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 6 : 4-Sep-19

The Australian Federal Police raids on the ABC’s Sydney offices and the home of a News Corp journalist continue to attract scrutiny. Law Council president Arthur Moses will use a National Press Club speech on 4 September to express concern that Australians’ rights and freedoms are being eroded in the interests of ensuring national security. Victorian Bar president Matt Collins will in turn urge changes to the nation’s defamation laws. The ABC and News Corp are expected to challenge the legality of the AFP raids under the implied freedom of political communication in the Constitution.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, VICTORIAN BAR INCORPORATED, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), ALLIANCE FOR JOURNALISTS’ FREEDOM