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Australia’s secrecy laws include 875 offences. Reforms are welcome, but don’t go far enough for press freedom

In 2019, the New York Times declared that “Australia may well be the world’s most secretive democracy”. The Times published the piece shortly after the Australian Federal Police raided journalists from two news organisations, searching for evidence of sources for stories that were embarrassing to the government. Four years on, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus today released a comprehensive review of secrecy…

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Ressa’s conviction matters for the region

Maria Ressa’s conviction should matter to everyone who cares about democracy   The media - in the Philippines and elsewhere - forces those in power to answer for the consequences of their policies. We can’t stand by while it is assaulted.   By almost any measure, the conviction of Maria Ressa and her former colleague, researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr, will have serious...
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Seeking shelter for journalism, not journalists

This article was originally published in The Australian. In the debates on press freedom, a lot of the media’s critics tend to dismiss journalists as pleading for special privileges. “No one is above (the law), ­including me or anyone else, any journalist or anyone else,” Scott Morrison said, anticipating the Right to Know coalition’s campaign calling for legislative changes to…

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Peter Greste: AFP raids an attack on the liberty of all Australians

The two raids by squads of Australian Federal Police officers on Wednesday sounded horribly familiar. This piece originally published in the Daily Telegraph. Images of them pushing their way into the offices of the ABC and the home of Daily Telegraph journalist Annika Smethurst, warrant in hand, riffling through personal belongings in a search for evidence recalled a night in…

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