MEDIA FREEDOM - MORRISON STILL DOESN’T GET IT

MARK DREYFUS QC MP.
Inbox.News digital newspaper topper logo
1 month ago
MEDIA FREEDOM - MORRISON STILL DOESN’T GET IT
MARK DREYFUS QC MP
The Prime Minister continues to show his contempt for freedom of the press with his ongoing refusal to acknowledge the need to protect journalists and whistleblowers.
 
All Australians, as well as friends in democracies around the world, were shocked earlier this year to see Australian Federal Police raiding the offices of media organisations and the home of a journalist.
 
The Prime Minister tried to dismiss widespread public concerns about this unprecedented use of the state power against news organisations and whistle-blowers with his glib one-liner: “It never troubles me that our laws are being upheld.”
 
Labor believes police shouldn’t be raiding journalists just because they are doing their jobs in upholding the public’s right to know.
 
Unlike the Morrison Government, Labor believes that freedom of the press and the public’s right to know are vital in the fight against corruption and the misuse of power.
 
However, the Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister still refuse to rule out charging Australian journalists such as those at the ABC and Annika Smethurst, for doing their job and reporting in the public interest.
 
Despite public concern about these raids, Mr Morrison continues to deny that press freedom is “under threat in this country from my government or anyone else” and insists that protections for whistleblowers are “adequate”.
 
These claims that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ are at odds with his own Attorney-General who admitted in June that protections for whistleblowers should be strengthened.
 
Security agencies do need to be given sufficient powers to protect us and our way of life, but those powers must always be balanced with the public’s right to know and the ability of journalists to inform the public and keep the government accountable.
 
Labor believes a strong and independent media is vital to holding governments – and opposition parties – to account, and Labor will continue to fight to defend and to strengthen press freedom.
Attorney-General Dept