Protect media freedom to protect the community

Original article by Chris Merritt
The Australian – Page: 24 : 15-Nov-19

Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses will use a speech on 15 November to urge the federal government to take action on the issue of media freedom. In addition to calling for better protection for journalists, Moses will argue the need for more safeguards for whistleblowers in the public service. Moses will contend that journalists need greater protection due to the important role they play in protecting the community from government abuse and misinformation.

CORPORATES
LAW COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, HOLDING REDLICH, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, SKY NEWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE

AFP raid on journo’s home trespass

Original article by Olivia Caisley
The Australian – Page: 7 : 13-Nov-19

The High Court has been told that a warrant to search a News Corp Australia journalist’s home was invalid as it did not state the exact nature of her alleged offence. The lawyer representing Annika Smethurst also alleged that the Australian Federal Police’s search warrant infringed the implied freedom of political communication. Stephen Lloyd SC said the AFP should be either forced to delete any files it had extracted from Smethurst’s mobile phone during the raid in June, or be subject to a court order preventing any use of those files.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, NATIONWIDE NEWS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN SIGNALS DIRECTORATE

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

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

Always independent? Lapping it up with the Libs has Fairfax throwbacks foaming

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 4-Sep-19

Nine Entertainment Company’s newspaper journalists have criticised the media group for hosting a fundraising event for the Liberal Party. They contend that the event has undermined the newspapers’ charters of editorial independence, arguing that ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, ‘The Age’ and ‘The Australian Financial Review’ had been politically impartial under the ownership of Fairfax Media. Senior federal government ministers and business leaders were amongst those who attended the event, which raised $700,000 for the Liberal Party.

CORPORATES
NINE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX NEC, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, FAIRFAX MEDIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MEDIA, ENTERTAINMENT AND ARTS ALLIANCE

Police asked to fingerprint ABC suspects

Original article by Zoe Samios
The Australian – Page: 3 : 16-Jul-19

The ABC has revealed that the Australian Federal Police sought access to the fingerprints and palm prints of journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark. The request was part of the AFP’s investigation into alleged offences under the Crimes Act, the Defence Act and the Criminal Code. Its actions have been criticised by John Lyons, the ABC’s head of investigations, who has expressed concern about the "criminalising" of legitimate investigative journalism. Press freedom has been under scrutiny in the wake of the AFP’s raids on the ABC’s Sydney office and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist.

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

Media, foreign leaders step up freedom push

Original article by Rosie Lewis, Jacquelin Magnay
The Australian – Page: 4 : 12-Jul-19

The ABC and News Corp Australia still do not know if any journalists will be prosecuted following the police raids in early June. ABC MD David Anderson says the public broadcaster has asked Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to intervene, although government sources say that he has no power to do so. The Australian Federal Police raids have attracted scrutiny at the Global Conference for Media Freedom, with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressing concern about the implications of the raids for freedom of the press globally.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF HOME AFFAIRS, GREAT BRITAIN. FOREIGN OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Coalition to move on press freedom

Original article by Olivia Caisley, Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 2 : 11-Jun-19

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has advised that the federal government will shortly issue a public response to the Australian Federal Police’s recent media industry raids. One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has indicated that she would support a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of the press, although she adds that journalists tend to be biased and there should be some restrictions on press freedom. A spokesman for shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally says Labor is still considering whether to support an inquiry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL POLICE, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ONE NATION PARTY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, CENTRE ALLIANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AL JAZEERA, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION