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AJF wins Thomson Reuters Foundation TrustLaw Impact Award

We're so proud to have won at the #TrustLawAwards for our crucial work using legal pro bono to drive change. We partnered with lawfirm Allens to review Australian secrecy laws. We submitted our findings as part of the Attorney-General’s Department Review of Secrecy Provisions consulation process. Our submission can be read here. The review developed 11 recommendations to guide future…
May 30, 2024
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Gaza is the worst of it, but across the world, journalism is under unprecedented assault. 

If we criminalise, dismiss or sideline journalism that tells inconvenient truths, we will destroy our capacity for sensible public debate. As I write, the grim count of journalists killed in Gaza since last October has reached 97. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) puts the number slightly higher at 108. In the first 50 days of the conflict, journalists were being killed…
May 3, 2024

How will Meta’s refusal to pay for news affect Australian journalism – and our democracy?

When we speak of media freedom, we generally mean it in terms of freedom from unnecessary legal restrictions, so journalists and their sources are not threatened with prosecution for exposing the misdeeds of governments. But yesterday’s announcement by Meta (Facebook’s parent company) that it will stop paying for Australian news content poses a different kind of threat to media freedom.…
March 15, 2024
Advocacy & ActionMedia ReleasesNews

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…
November 21, 2023
David McBride outside courtAdvocacy & ActionInterviewsNews

David McBride changes plea to guilty following order from Court

David McBride's lawyer, Mark Davis, spoke to Radio National this morning to discuss the concerning developments in his current case. His team were denied the opportunity to present evidence to the court which forced David to alter his plea to guilty. The Alliance for Journalists Freedom is highly concerned with the development of this case. As advocates for press freedom…
November 21, 2023

The fight for press freedom is a fight for us all

Editor: Shahirah Hamid Commissioning Editor, 360info Southeast Asia Newsrooms are still fighting to honour press freedom despite government pressure, competition with social media platforms and declining trust in the media. It has been 30 years since the UN General Assembly proclaimed 3 May as World Press Freedom Day. The proclamation marks a significant step to allow a free press…
May 3, 2023
Advocacy & ActionNewsResearch

Future of Journalism report

Download the AJF Future of Journalism Report here.Thanks to the generosity of the Jibb Foundation, AJF has spent the last year speaking with experts around the world on the Future of Journalism. What will the media landscape look like in 10-15 years? What are the main challenges we face and how can we overcome them? How can governments better legislate…
February 14, 2023

Record number of journalists jailed in 2020

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have released their end of year report, revealing a record number of journalists were jailed in 2020, as governments cracked down on freedoms during the Covid-19 pandemic, and dealt with economic and political instabilities. The AJF is not surprised by these global figures. In 2020 we begun our Asia–Pacific Press Freedom Landscape Mapping (PFLM)…
December 16, 2020

Bloomberg journalist latest to be detained in China

Haze Fan, a Bloomberg correspondent in their Beijing bureau, has been arrested by Chinese officials under suspicion of endangering national security. In the last year, Chinese officials have detained 17 foreign journalists and placed restrictions on the visas of at least 12 others. Cheng Lei, an Australian television anchor based in China, has been detained since August. In the wake…
December 15, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureNews

AJF seeks to resolve press freedom issue in NT

The AJF has offered to help resolve the escalating issue between the NT Government and local digital publication the NT Independent. Banning legitimate news publishers from press conferences is a contradiction to the tenets of a liberal democracy. The Government's concerns about the legitimacy of he publication lie with its owner, not its journalism, and so the AJF seeks a…
December 8, 2020

Maria Ressa faces second cyber libel charge

Maria Ressa is now facing a second charge of cyber libel after tweeting a screenshot of a supposedly libellous article. The Alliance for Journalists' Freedom urges the Duterte regime to drop these charges. Ressa filed a motion to quash the recent charge, citing that a journalist should be responsible for the caption accompanying the shared  screenshot, not the screenshot itself.…
December 4, 2020
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Journalist Ronnie Villamor killed in Philippines

Filipino journalist Ronnie Villamor has been shot dead at a check point in Central Philippines. Villamor was a contributor to the local independent Dos Kantos Balita weekly tabloid. This is the second shooting of a journalist within the last two weeks, after the shooting of Virgilio Maganes on November 10th. The Philippines is 7th on the CPJ's Global Impunity Index, which…
November 25, 2020
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Ita Buttrose joins AJF’s call for MFA

Ita Buttrose has joined AJF's call for a Media Freedom Act (MFA). Buttrose, in a speech to the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation, noted the need for a MFA to strengthen our democracy and balance our national security laws with the public's right to know. The AJF has been calling for a MFA since we released our White Paper, three…
November 24, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureNews

Journalist Virgilio Maganes killed in Philippines

Filipino journalist Virgilio Maganes has been shot dead, in the second attempt on his life. Maganes was a commentator for DWPR radio station, and was 62 years old. The Philippines is 7th on the CPJ's Global Impunity Index, which calculates the number of unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population. The Guardian published an article on Maganes'…
November 16, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureMedia ReleasesNews

AJF calls for Voluntary Certification Program for Journalists

The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom has called for a voluntary certification program for Australian journalists as an essential step towards building trust in journalism, and distinguishing journalists from what can be false and misleading commentary on social and digital channels. Professor Peter Greste, AJF spokesperson, says: “We believe that a voluntary certification program is needed now. As journalism and the…
November 11, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureNews

Government ban on NT Independent sets dangerous precedent

The NT's Government blacklisting of news outlet NT Independent seems to be based on personal relationships, rather than concerns about the journalism practiced by the outlet. The AJF commented, saying that the NT Government should reverse its position on the NT Independent immediately. "We can't imagine any Australian government — state or federal — would knowingly restrict press freedom. News…
September 30, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureMedia ReleasesNews

Statement re Aus journos evacuated from China

Peter Greste, Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom spokesperson can be quoted as saying: “Without any evidence of wrong-doing, the Chinese authorities’ treatment of the ABC’s Bill Birtles and Mike Smith from the AFR looks like harassment of respected journalists to make a political and diplomatic point. “Journalists should never be used as political pawns and hostages. Without Australian journalists operating freely…
September 8, 2020

HK: Jimmy Lai cleared of intimidation charges

Jimmy Lai, Hong Kong media tycoon and owner of Apple Daily (a popular pro-democracy publisher), has been cleared of criminal intimidation charges, which offers a glimmer of hope that Hong Kong's judicial system is still operating independently. He still, however, faces charges for suspicion of colluding with foreign forces in the wake of the new national security law. Read more…
September 4, 2020
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Aus journo Cheng Lei detained in China

Cheng Lei, Australian journalist and TV anchor for the Chinese Government's English news channel, CGTN, has been detained for more than two weeks without explanation. Lei is being held in a form of detention where she can be held for six months and be questioned without access to a lawyer. Most recently, the Chinese government made its first official acknowledgement…
September 2, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureMedia ReleasesNews

AJF calls for release of Cheng Lei

The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom calls for Chinese authorities to provide due process to Australian TV journalist Cheng Lei, and release her immediately pending any judicial proceedings, in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (which China has signed). It also calls on the authorities in China to ensure that any judicial proceedings follow due process. On…
September 1, 2020
FeatureMedia ReleasesNews

PJCIS report announced: analysis

The long-awaited report for the Parliamentary Joint Committee for Intelligence and Security's inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and security powers on the freedom of the press was released yesterday afternoon, 26th August. The Alliance for Journalists' Freedom (AJF) has been working closely with the committee throughout the submission and hearing period. We welcome the report's…
August 27, 2020

Covid-19 being used to crack down on journalism

Nieman Lab's Jenna Hand reports that the rise of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic has prompted various governments around the world to introduce emergency measures that, whilst often described as being for the purposes of national security and to ensure public safety during the crisis, also significantly stifle journalists' ability to do their job. Julie Posetti, Director of Research at…
August 24, 2020
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Senate press freedom inquiry hearing – AJF summary

Environment and Communications References Committee press freedom inquiry hearing – 12th August 2020   AJF evidence summary + key points AJF noted that since our last hearing, a lot has happened to freedom of media both in Australia and across our region. This reaffirms our original proposition—the urgent need for a comprehensive Media Freedom Act (MFA). Regarding the MFA, we…
August 18, 2020
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Have we learnt nothing from Bjelke-Petersen era?

If there is a time in a democracy when freedom of the press matters most, it’s ­during an election. That’s when we really think about the character and integrity of the people seeking our support in their campaign for public office. It’s not always pretty or dignified, but it is an essential part of how our democracy works. It’s also…
August 14, 2020

NY Times opinion: press freedom loses again

Jimmy Lai, owner of pro-democracy publisher Apple Daily, and six other senior executives have been arrested by Hong Kong police. This marks the most aggressive crackdown on press freedom yet under the new national security law which can charge people for sedition.   The NY Times Editorial Board discuss the implications of this here.   Photo credit: Getty
August 13, 2020

Hong Kong media raids and arrests result of new security law

Jimmy Lai, owner of pro-democracy publisher Apple Daily, and six other senior executives have been arrested by Hong Kong police in an extraordinary crack down on press freedom. These arrests come as a result of the introduction of the new national security law in Hong Kong.   The Guardian discusses this in detail here. Photo credit: AP via The Guardian
August 11, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureMedia ReleasesNews

Malay Govt investigation into Al Jazeera misguided

The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF) urges the Malaysian Government to desist its current investigation of Al Jazeera English (AJE), as the current methods of investigation are an attack on free, independent journalism. If the Malaysian Government takes issue with Al Jazeera’s work – or any reporting – there are appropriate complaint mechanisms within a democracy to pursue this. The…
August 5, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureMedia ReleasesNews

AJF statement on possible charging of Al Jazeera journalists

The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom stands firmly by the Al Jazeera journalists involved in the East 101 program, Locked up in Lockdown. The Malaysian authorities’ possible charging of these journalists appears to be following an increasingly worrying trend in Malaysia in which the government targets uncomfortable journalism. The decision to include a charge of sedition in the investigation is particularly troubling…
July 13, 2020

Covid-19’s latest press freedom casualty

Covid-19 has changed press freedom in the Asia–Pacific. The Alliance for Journalists' Freedom is working to track just how the virus has altered journalists' ability to support transparency and accountability through their work, and what we, as an organisation and public, can do to better support democratic values. Read Jim Nolan's piece on Timor Leste – the latest press freedom…
July 9, 2020
FeatureMedia ReleasesNews

Media Release: Dan Oakes charges

Potential prosecution of Dan Oakes illustrates urgent need for Media Freedom Act The ABC has revealed the AFP’s recommendation regarding the Afghan Files story is for the Commonwealth DPP to consider charging journalist Dan Oakes for his role in the leak. ABC’s Managing Director David Anderson said in a statement “The Afghan Files is factual and important reporting which exposed…
July 3, 2020

Final printing week for many local and regional newspapers

After announcements in May that News Corp would shut more than 100 local and regional papers, this week spells the last printing week for many of them. Ownership diversity and access to local news are both important aspects of a healthy and free press, so the AJF is hoping this switch to digital will be one that is invigorating, rather…
June 26, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeatureNews

The Atlantic on how democracy dies

The Atlantic: This Is How Democracy Dies   The Atlantic published an article in the wake of the court's decision that found Maria Ressa guilty of cyber-libel 'for an article she did not write, edit, or supervise, of a crime that hadn’t even existed when the story was published.'   The piece explains the subtle but constant whittling away of…
June 18, 2020
Advocacy & ActionFeature

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…
June 16, 2020
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Ressa’s guilty verdict sets extraordinarily damaging precedent

In response to the cyber-libel court case in which Maria Ressa has been found guilty, AJF’s Peter Greste can be quoted as saying the following:   “This ruling sets an extraordinarily damaging precedent for press freedom in the Asia–Pacific region, and the world. “To suggest there was no political pressure in this case would be incredibly naïve. The Philippine government…
June 15, 2020
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AJF condemns the targeting of journalists in US riots

AJF joins the CPJ in condemning the targeting of journalists in the US riots   The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom stands in solidarity with our US colleagues. The targeting of journalists covering the demonstrations across the US is an extraordinary step backwards for their democracy, and global democracy. The Committee to Protect Journalists have released the following statement. We stand…
June 1, 2020
FeatureMedia ReleasesNews

Smethurst should not have been charged in the first place

27th May 2020 Media Release: Smethurst should not have been charged in the first place   The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom welcomes the decision by the Australian Federal Police to drop charges against Newscorp journalist Annika Smethurst. The announcement though, coming more than a year after the raids, underscores the need for unambiguous protections for press freedom in Australian law.…
May 29, 2020

News Corp to cut hundreds of jobs in move to digital

This week News Corp's Michael Miller has announced a cut of as many as 100 titles and hundreds of jobs in a bid to move to digital-only production to aid the financial security of the company, which has been suffering in the wake of lost advertising revenue. This is a great loss for communities where the local paper is often…
May 28, 2020

Covid19 accelerated the media’s woes, but is there hope?

The media industry has been through enormous upheaval due to Covid-19, in part because it was underway before the virus. This recent SMH piece details the closures of multiple media mastheads in Australia. The signs are grim: the closure of AAP; the continuing diminishment of local news in regional areas and the lack of a sustainable funding model for public…
May 25, 2020
Advocacy & ActionNewsResearch

Regional Coalition call on Duterte Govt to re-open ABS-CBN

View the letter and list of signatories here.The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom has gathered a group of top media organisations in the region, press freedom experts and journalists to call on the Duterte Government of the Philippines to re-open the ABS-CBN network and ensure press freedom in the country moving forward. The network is a critical service for the filipino…
May 11, 2020

World Press Freedom Day

On World Press Freedom Day, we've brought together some of Australia's best journos. This is their message. #WPFD2020 #PressFreedom
May 3, 2020

Support the media, support press freedom

Columbia Journalism Review published an article titled 'What needs to be done to help the media industry?' which explores how the disintegration of the traditional financial model and the advent of the coronavirus have decimated media's future, unless we collectively act to support it. The piece explores the possibility of treating news publishers as non-for-profit organisations, as well as increasing…
April 28, 2020

Aus falls 5 places on World Press Freedom Index

Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres, RSF) have released their 2020 World Press Freedom Index, which calculates the global press freedom ranking of countries around the world. This year, due to the AFP raids in 2019, the lack of legislative protections for the function journalism plays in our democracy, and concentrated media ownership, Australia's position has fallen from 21st to…
April 22, 2020
Advocacy & ActionNewsResearch

AJF Supplementary Submission to the PJCIS Inquiry

Download the AJF's Submission hereThe Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom recently made a second supplementary submission to the Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press. The AJF's submission addresses the recent submission made by Home Affairs and the Australian Federal Police. Our wider recommendations can be found in our…
April 20, 2020

The crucial role & responsibility of the free press in a crisis

Sometimes it takes deeply shocking events to remind us why we need certain social institutions to work freely and effectively. We’re now not just having a pandemic, but we've also had a drought and a catastrophic bushfire season to underscore – in red ink – just how important it is to have a well-resourced and genuinely free media that does…
March 30, 2020

American journalists expelled from China

An ABC report yesterday stated that 'Beijing announced... American journalists with press credentials expiring this year who work with the New York Times, the News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, would not be permitted to work in mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau... Beijing described its steps as "necessary and reciprocal countermeasures that China is compelled to…
March 19, 2020

China’s journalists are fighting back

China's Communist Party (CCP) have been working hard to both control and stifle the spread of information via media and social media, during the Covid-19 crisis. So much so that two citizen journalists covering the outbreak from Wuhan, Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin, have been missing now for over a month. According to The NYTimes, however, China's journalists are fighting…
March 17, 2020

AAP to close in June

AAP will shut down in June, as Nine and News Corp have decided to bring their investment in the publication to a halt, citing Google as the main reason for the erosion of AAP's business. AAP's 180 journalists provide the nation's media with a large amount of their daily news and photos, and have been doing so since 1935. This…
March 3, 2020
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AJF response to ABC appeal decision

Why we need a Media Freedom Act The ABC has made the decision not to appeal the Federal Court ruling that the AFP’s warrant to conduct a raid of the ABC’s Ultimo offices was valid. It has decided it can’t litigate its way to reforming fundamentally bad laws. This further stresses the need for a Media Freedom Act. “The principle…
February 28, 2020
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ABC won’t appeal Federal Court ruling

The Federal Court recently ruled that the AFP raids on ABC offices in Ultimo were valid. The ABC have today announced they will not lodge an appeal. This decision is unsurprising, and comes as a result of the current legislative landscape. Once again, another sign we need a Media Freedom Act. ABC's Managing Director, David Anderson, said "This outcome demonstrates…
February 28, 2020

Peter Greste on Julian Assange

Whatever you think of Assange, his case has broad implications. There are two images of Julian Assange that display the deeply contradictory views of his supporters and his critics. The first is of Assange at the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, microphone in hand, addressing the media gathered in the street below. That low-angle image captures the hero…
February 25, 2020
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Federal Court judgement confirms the need for MFA

Media Release: Federal Court judgement confirms the need for a Media Freedom Act   In a major blow to press freedom in Australia, the Federal Court has ruled that the search warrants the Australian Federal Police used to raid the ABC last year were valid. The AJF believes the case underscores the urgent need for a Media Freedom Act, to…
February 17, 2020

US journalist denied entry to Hong Kong

According to the CPJ, US journalist, Michael Yon, was barred from entering Hong Kong by immigration authorities, on 05 February. Yon has been critical of China's Communist Party in his coverage of the Hong Kong demonstrations. Read more here. Photo credit: Reuters / Hannah Mckay
February 14, 2020

Chilling attack on journalism in wake of Coronavirus

MISSING: Citizen Journalist, Chen Qiushi Yet another journalist is missing in China which already has an appalling track record for restricting press freedom. Chen Qiushi and Fang Bin have documented the outbreak of Coronavirus from Wuhan since the outbreak, broadcasting from their mobile phones. Thousands rely on the two men for the latest from the province where the virus was…
February 10, 2020

Journalism under threat in Europe

Colombia Journalism Review published a piece drawing attention to a report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, which surveyed journalists from 16 countries to determine their working conditions and the attacks they face. The report, titled 'Fighting Words: Journalism Under Assault in Central and Eastern Europe' notes the similar patterns, or tactics used, which…
February 7, 2020

‘Trust Nuggets’ – techniques to restore trust in journalism

In an interesting piece from Washington based Global Investigative Journalism Network, GIJN explores how they're working with Gannett’s regional-based data and investigations team to implement tech that helps rebuild readers' trust in investigative journalism. They're using 'Trust Nuggets', which are essentially bite-sized bits of information on the 'why' and 'how' behind any investigative story, sprinkled throughout the broader piece. In…
February 5, 2020
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American journalist detained in Indonesia

Philip Jacobsen, 30, is an award winning young journalist who has been critical of environmental degradation and reported on alleged corruption in Indonesia. Jacobsen's passport was confiscated in December in Palangkaraya, and on January 21 he was detained under the suspicion of committing a visa violation against the 2011 immigration law. This means he could face a sentence of up…
January 23, 2020

Luanda Leaks: are collaborative investigations journalism’s future?

Luanda Leaks, a recent investigation by the ICIJ (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists) and 36 media partners, reveals twenty years worth of corruption that has made Isabel dos Santos Africa’s wealthiest woman and left Angola as one of the poorest countries in the world. Luanda Leaks provides yet another example of a collaborative, global journalism network successfully managing to expose…
January 21, 2020

Australia’s press freedom criticised in new report

Global organisation Human Rights Watch has criticised Australia's poorly defined national security laws and critical lack of press freedom legislation in their recent annual report. The Age describe this in a recent article, which can be read here. Australia begins 2020 in 21st position on RSF's World Press Freedom Index, having slipped two places since 2018.  Recommendations from the two…
January 15, 2020

The new golden age of China journalism

China, sitting at 177 of 180 on RSF's global press freedom index, is not known for its liberal treatment of journalists. Major news organisations are creating specific roles for covering China remotely. Further details in Axios here.
January 8, 2020

China jailed the most journalists in 2019

The CPJ have released their report on journalists imprisoned, missing and killed around the world in 2019. China tops the list this year, eclipsing Turkey, with 48 journalists detained throughout the year. Read the Forbes article here.
December 13, 2019

Australia’s democracy downgraded

The CIVICUS Monitor, a global assessor of democratic freedoms made up of various human rights centres, recently published findings about the downgrading of Australia's democracy, from 'open' to 'narrowed' after raids on journalists, prosecution of whistleblowers and other civil freedom issues that have come to the fore this year. Australia needs a Media Freedom Act to ensure we can strengthen…
December 11, 2019

Zuckerberg on the importance of journalism

The New York Times published a piece by Mark Zuckerberg this week, in which he reinforces the critical role journalism plays in a healthy democracy. "I believe deeply in the social good that journalism provides. Today, it’s more important than ever: We need the news to scrutinize the powerful, reliably document major events and uncover new truths. This makes our…
November 1, 2019

Larry King calls for legislative change to protect press freedom

Larry King has called on the Morrison government to bring in legislative reforms in line with the AJF's call for a Media Freedom Act, in a recent interview with The Australian. “A strong media is essential to the progress of a country and the wellbeing of a country.” King said. King, who is a titan of the US Media Industry,…
October 29, 2019

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…
October 24, 2019
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AJF response to ARTK campaign

21 October 2019 AJF Media Release: We Need a Meeting of Minds The AJF welcomes the Australia’s Right to Know Coalition (ARTK) campaign for media freedom, which calls on the government to immediately address the lack of transparency damaging our democracy. We support all its campaign aims. This is a critical moment for both the media, the security services, and…
October 21, 2019

National security laws impeding journalism

The Saturday Paper (5th October) published a comprehensive look at how national security laws are impeding journalism. AJF co-founder and spokesperson Peter Greste was asked to contribute. You can view the piece here.   Photo credit: AAP/Lucas Coch
October 8, 2019

Singapore passes concerning ‘fake news’ law

Singapore passed a piece of legislation on Wednesday, which criminalises information deemed "prejudicial" to Singapore's security, public safety, "public tranquility," or to the "friendly relations of Singapore with other countries". There is concern that the broad parameters of this reform will lead to a more restricted press in the country. The power to charge anyone for acting outside the bounds…
October 3, 2019

NYT addresses the growing threat to journalism globally

A. G. Sulzberger, Publisher of The New York Times wrote and published the following article on 23 September. It is well worth the read. You can read the article here. "This is a worldwide assault on journalists and journalism. But even more important, it’s an assault on the public’s right to know, on core democratic values, on the concept of…
September 25, 2019
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AJF joins call for Hong Kong to support press freedom

The AJF sent the following letter to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, joining the IFJ's call for the Hong Kong government to ensure press freedom is protected. 9th September 2019 Dear Chief Executive Lam I write as a founding director and spokesman of the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF), an advocacy group dedicated to defending press freedom across the Asia–Pacific region,…
September 9, 2019
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AJF Submission to the SSC Inquiry

Download the AJF's Submission hereThe Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom made a submission to the Press Freedom Inquiry referred to the Environment and Communications References Committee. The AJF's submission addressed parts a), b), c), e) and f) of the Inquiry Terms of Reference, largely retelling what we recommended prior to the AFP raids, in our White Paper, released on 09 May.The…
September 9, 2019

Peter Greste host of panel at Sydney Opera House

Amanda Meade explored the role philanthropy plays – and will continue to play – in the rapidly changing landscape of journalism.  This piece originally published in The Guardian. AJF's Peter Greste is hosting a panel on press freedom at Sydney Opera House's Antidote Festival, on September 01, with speakers Maria Ressa, Lina Attalah, Irina Borogan and Steve Coll on the…
August 22, 2019
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AJF Submission to the PJCIS Inquiry

Download the AJF's Submission here The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press. The AJF's submission addressed items b) and c) in the Inquiry Terms of Reference, and provided multiple recommendations under…
August 1, 2019
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An open letter to Government

An open letter from MEAA supported by us was published in all major papers on Friday 13 June. The letter urges parliament to make the necessary legislative changes to protect journalists and whistleblowers in their everyday work. We have detailed those much needed changes in our White Paper. Read the letter here.   Photo credit: MEAA
June 15, 2019
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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…
June 7, 2019
Advocacy & ActionResearch

AJF White Paper plots law reform pathway for Press Freedom

Download the whitepaper hereThe Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom has released a White Paper that provides seven recommendations for legislative change to strengthen press freedom in Australia. The recommendations include a framework underpinned by a Media Freedom Act that balances press freedom and national security interests, protecting journalists engaged in their work from unwarranted prosecution or civil liability. Each of the…
May 14, 2019

CPJ: Defending press freedom is not the same as celebrating great journalism

The Committee to Protect Journalists' Director Joel Simon has written a piece for the Columbia Journalism Review that raises an important and very necessary distinction in the global conversation on press freedom. Published on World Press Freedom Day, Simon discusses the difference between celebrating good journalism and working to protect journalists & press freedom. Both are important, but we can…
May 4, 2019

TIME’s 10 most urgent cases of press freedom around the world

This year, on World Press Freedom Day (03 May), TIME have released a list of the 10 most urgent cases of press freedom around the world. View the list here. The AJF would add Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler in the Philippines, to that list. The AJF is working for media freedom in the Asia-Pacific, so for us–alongside Wa-Lone and…
May 3, 2019

Julian Assange is no journalist: don’t confuse his arrest with press freedom

Listen to the SBS World News Radio interview with Biwa Kwan here: ( Standing before a media scrum in London, Julian Assange’s lawyer Jen Robinson declared that his arrest on Thursday, “set a dangerous precedent for all media and journalists in Europe and around the world.” She said if his extradition were allowed, any journalist could face charges for "publishing…
April 16, 2019

Amal Clooney appointed Special Envoy for press freedom

Human Rights Lawyer Amal Clooney has been appointed by UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt as the Special Envoy for media freedom. This is a critical position to defend democracy and strengthen the free press all over the world. Read more here. Photo credit: Reuters
April 6, 2019

Facebook announce news service

Mark Zuckerberg recently announced Facebook's intention to launch a new news service. In conversation with Axel Springer CEO's Mathias Döpfner, Zuckerberg discussed the need for this service to enable and strengthen the following: High quality, trustworthy journalism and consideration of the level to which it should or shouldn't be curated; Monetisation, to ensure fairness to publishers, given Facebook is on…
April 2, 2019

Maria Ressa arrested again, over Anti-Dummy Law

Rappler CEO and executive editor, Maria Ressa, has been arrested again, this time for an alleged breach of the Anti-Dummy Law, which seeks to prevent interference of foreign investors within media entities in the Philippines. Rappler stands by its assertion of independence in this regard. Ressa is expected to post bail shortly, for the second time in 2019. For further…
March 29, 2019

BBC to create journalism foundation in Britain to address decline in local news

The BBC recently announced plans to launch a new organisation to fund local journalism in Britain. Here are some facts about it: The new not-for-profit, set up in conjunction with Google and Facebook, is to be called the Local Democracy Foundation with a remit to report on council meetings, crime, and other local news. Google and Facebook's financial backing of the…
March 22, 2019

CPJ marks International Women’s Day

The Committee to Protect Journalists marks International Women's Day by highlighting the cases of female journalists jailed around the world for doing their jobs. Here are a few of the facts: According to CPJ's recent census, 32 of the 251 journalists currently in jail are women In the Asia-Pacific region, 6 women are imprisoned in China and 2 in Vietnam…
March 8, 2019

UN leader calls for action to protect journalists

The head of the United Nations has called on governments and the international community to protect journalists and media workers at a time when attacks on the media have become “the new normal”. Secretary-General António Guterres issued the call to action in a speech to the Association of United Nations Correspondents. In just over a decade, more than a thousand…
February 28, 2019

Maria Ressa arrested in the Philippines

Maria Ressa, award winning journalist and CEO of Rappler has been arrested in the Philippines, under the accusation of "cyber libel". Shortly after receiving the arrest warrant, she told CNN reporters "the rule of law has been broken to the point that I can't see it." The grounds for arrest are blurred and the arrest warrant was issued too late…
February 14, 2019

Peter Greste on 2ser: the need for a Media Freedom Act

"Journalists need to be the eyes, the ears and the voice for the public... this isn't about holding to account for the sake of it, this is about protecting our democracy." – Peter Greste 2ser 107.3's Tess Connery spoke with Peter Greste this morning to discuss the need for a Media Freedom Act in Australia. Listen to the interview here.…
February 12, 2019

The Case For A Media Freedom Act

This is the op-ed by Prof. Peter Greste published in The Australian this morning, to start our campaign for a Media Freedom Act.   One of the central tenets of a successful liberal democracy is press freedom. As voters, we employ our elected officials to run the government on our behalf, and as with all bosses, we have a right…
February 5, 2019

Netanyahu’s complicated relationship with media

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s relationship with the press has reportedly fractured and become increasingly complex. According to The Economist, Netanyahu, once the golden boy in the eyes of Israeli media,  has created a tangled relationship and then used negative media to his advantage by “playing the victim”, including erecting a billboard of four offending journalists. Read more here.  (To read…
February 1, 2019

A journalist’s 544 days in an Iranian jail

It has been 1,110 days since Jason Rezaian, then The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, was released from Iran’s notorious Evin prison. In that time, he has recuperated, studied at Harvard on a fellowship, restarted his life in Washington along with his wife, Yeganeh, and returned to The Post’s headquarters as an opinion writer. For more read the Washington…
January 30, 2019

Layoffs – the tough reality of online publishing.

Buzzfeed is laying off 15% of staff in a bid to turn a profit, reports the NYT. To support the loss making news division, Buzzfeed has introduced businesses like selling cookware at Walmart and a toy store in New York. Read more here.   Photo credit: Thomson Reuters
January 25, 2019

Myanmar court rejects appeal by jailed Reuters journalists

A court in Myanmar has rejected an appeal by two reporters of the Reuters news agency, sentenced to seven years in jail for breaking the country's Official Secrets Act, in a case that rallied press freedom advocates. Lawyers for Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, had filed the appeal in November against their conviction, citing evidence of a police set-up and lack of proof of…
January 14, 2019

A freer press; good news for Gambia

Journalists in Gambia have launched a self-regulatory body they hope will offer legitimacy, and far more freedom, to media emerging from a dictatorship that ruled the tiny West African nation for more than two decades. During the 22 years of former President Yahya Jammeh’s rule, journalists were regularly abducted, tortured and killed. The new government has vowed new freedoms after…
January 3, 2019

53 journalist deaths tied to work in 2018

This week the Committee to Protect Journalists released a report that revealed that 53 journalists have died as a result of dangerous work this year. This is the rise from the 2017 figures, which totalled  47 journalist deaths related to their work. The report found that the deadliest country for journalists this year has been Afghanistan. Thirteen journalists were killed,…
December 21, 2018

Time Magazine: The war on journalists and truth

Time Magazine has named a collective of journalists their 'Person of the Year' for 2019.  Honourees include murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, imprisoned Reuters journalists U Wa Lone and U Kyaw Soe Oo, Maria Ressa founder of news-startup, Rappler in the Philippines and the staff of the Capital Gazette newspapers in Maryland. The magazine heralds these journalists as guardians of the truth and goes on…
December 12, 2018

Hungary: How a free press can die

An insightful article and opinion piece by the New York Times that narrates the gradual decline of media freedom in Hungary after the election of far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban. First, the article. "Hungary’s leading news website, Origo, had a juicy scoop: A top aide to the far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, had used state money to pay for sizable but…
December 4, 2018

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression

In his very last column at The Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi stressed the importance of press freedom and the lack of action from the international community. "I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been…
October 19, 2018
Media Releases

Rebuilding trust in the media must come from the ground up

The Alliance for Journalist Freedom (AJF) believes one of the key questions currently facing the media is how to rebuild trust in journalism. Speaking on a panel discussing How to Build Trust in Contemporary Journalism at the University of Tasmania, AFJ director Peter Greste said there are several fundamental questions that need public discussion. “We need to rethink the news…
September 13, 2018

NYT answers call to fight “dirty war on free press”

The New York Times today published an editorial that responds to the Boston Globe's call for outlets across America to publish editorials that denounce President Trump's hostility to the media. "In 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials. Criticizing the news media — for underplaying or overplaying stories, for getting something wrong — is entirely…
August 16, 2018
FeatureMedia ReleasesResearch

AJF Collaborates with Top University on Research

Journalism freedom fighter Professor Peter Greste is spearheading a unique research collaboration to protect media independence, the role of the media in democracy, and the safety of journalists. The University of Queensland and the Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF) have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on research projects about many aspects of media freedom. Professor Greste, who is also…
June 28, 2018

Crisis in Turkey

The New York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists is blunt in its assessment of the state of journalism around the world today: “There has never been a more dangerous time to be a journalist,” it declares in its #FreeThePress campaign.
June 28, 2018

Fake News vs. Truth Seekers

The best weapon against fake news is true news. So when ‘Trust me, I’m a journalist’ fails to charm, should journalists work harder at their credibility? ‘Fighting Fakes – the Nordic Way’ considers ways to improve journalists’ reputations as one way to counter fake news. Written by journalists and media professionals and launched in May on World Press Freedom Day,…
June 26, 2018

How Journalism Became One Of The Most Dangerous Jobs In The World

A few months ago, an American organization called Freedom House released the results of its annual survey of press freedom around the world. It’s stark conclusion – it is at its worst state in 13 years. What does that mean in practical terms? Well, last year, 79 journalists were killed doing their jobs. It isn’t a record high – that…
June 8, 2018
Media Releases

Australian organisation to fight for the future of journalism

Today, Peter Greste, while being awarded the Australian Press Council’s 2018 Press Freedom Medal, announced the formation of an organisation to fight for journalist freedom. The Alliance for Journalists’ Freedom (AJF) will advocate to preserve media freedom in Australia and to campaign for a freer press and journalists’ safety in the Asia Pacific region. “Press freedom around the world is…
May 3, 2018