Federal police drop case against ABC journalist

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 7 : 16-Oct-20

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will not take legal action against ABC journalist Daniel Oakes over a series of reports known as ‘The Afghan Files’. The CDPP has deemed that the public interest does not require a prosecution in the case of Oakes; the Australian Federal Police has subsequently advised that its investigation into allegations that Oakes obtained classified information has been closed. ABC MD David Anderson says the matter should never have gone as far as it did.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIA. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

No conflict for journalists as spooks

Original article by Aaron Patrick
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 8-Sep-20

Australia Defence Association executive director Neil James says journalists who provide information to their own country’s intelligence service should not be viewed as spies. James was commenting on a report that former ABC foreign correspondent Peter Barnett may have assisted Australian intelligence services in the 1960s and 1970s. Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance president Marcus Strom contends that providing information to an intelligence agency would be viewed as a conflict of interest for a journalist that would have to be declared under their code of ethics.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA DEFENCE ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE

Australian TV presenter Cheng Lei detained in China

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The New Daily – Page: Online : 1-Sep-20

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has confirmed that Australian television journalist Cheng Lei has been detained by Chinese authorities. Payne says official notification of Cheng’s detention was received on 14 August, and that Australian officials spoke to her via video link at a detention centre on 27 August. The Australian citizen works for Chinese state-run broadcaster CGTN. The reason for her detention and the charges she faces are not yet known.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, CGTN

Australia’s top cop says raiding journalist’s home was no mistake

Original article by Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
Herald Sun – Page: Online : 1-Sep-20

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw appeared before a Senate inquiry into press freedom on 31 August. He told the inquiry that the AFP had been right to raid the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst in mid-2019, despite the fact that the search warrant was subsequently ruled to be invalid by the High Court. Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance CEO Paul Murphy told the inquiry that contestable search warrants are necessary to ensure press freedom. However, Kershaw and Department of Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo argued that allowing such warrants would be "detrimental to the workings" of the police.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS

Feds eye charges for ABC reporter

Original article by Paul Garvey
The Australian – Page: 3 : 3-Jul-20

A spokesman for Attorney-General Christian Porter has declined to comment on the Australian Federal Police’s decision to refer an ABC journalist for possible prosecution. The AFP has forwarded a brief of evidence to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions following a two-year investigation into the ‘Afghan Files’ case. However, the brief only names one of the ABC journalists responsible for the series of reports, Dan Oakes. Porter would have to approve any decision to prosecute Oakes, and he has previously stated that he would be unlikely to authorise the prosecution of journalists for publishing classified information.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

AFP search of journalist’s home illegal

Original article by Michael Pelly, Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 16-Apr-20

Australian Federal Police commissioner Reece Kershaw says News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst could still face criminal charges despite a landmark High Court ruling on the legal validity of a search warrant. The court has unanimously ruled that the warrant used to search her home in June 2019 was invalid as it was too imprecise and "impossibly wide". However, the court narrowly rejected an application for an injunction requiring the AFP to return or destroy data that it seized in the raid.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

High Court to rule on warrant AFP used to raid journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home

Original article by Elizabeth Byrne, Matthew Doran
abc.net.au – Page: Online : 15-Apr-20

The issue of press freedom will come under scrutiny again on 15 April, when the High Court decides on the validity of a search warrant used in a media raid in June 2019. News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst has challenged the legal validity of the search warrant issued to Australian Federal Police officers who raided her home in Canberra. Her lawyers have argued amongst other things that the law under which the warrant was issued was invalid because it breached the implied constitutional right to freedom of political communication. The ABC has unsuccessfully challenged the search warrant used in a separate raid on its Sydney premises.

CORPORATES
HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Guardian journalist unpaid for five weeks

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 3 : 12-Mar-20

The Australian arm of news publisher The Guardian has provided extensive coverage of the wage underpayments scandal in recent months. However, freelance journalist Russell Jackson has claimed that The Guardian itself has not paid him for five articles that he wrote in January. The Guardian’s Australian editor, Lenore Taylor, has described this as "unacceptable" and said she will ensure that the matter is resolved. Jackson has previously been the news publisher’s deputy sports editor.

CORPORATES
THE GUARDIAN AUSTRALIA

Media regime just a way to keep bad laws

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Leo Shanahan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 7 : 29-Feb-20

The Australian Federal Police and the Department of Home Affairs have used a joint submission to the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security to propose a ‘notice to produce’ regime for journalists. This would require an independent body to assess requests from security agencies for access to documents and communications between journalists and their confidential sources. The proposal has been criticised by News Corp Australia’s executive chairman Michael Miller, while Labor contends that journalists would still be at risk from prosecution and jail.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA. PARLIAMENTARY JOINT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Reporters’ data targeted

Original article by Tamsin Rose
Herald Sun – Page: 8 : 6-Feb-20

A Department of Home Affairs report shows that Australian Federal Police officers were granted six warrants to access the telephone data of journalists during 2018-19. This is three times more than in the previous financial year. The warrants also allowed the AFP to access 20 historical data sets containing information about the journalists’ calls, texts and emails. Government agencies were also issued with 3,561 interception warrants in 2018-19. The AFP came under scrutiny in 2019 over a series of media raids.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE