Press Freedom is Under Attack
Now more than ever, we need laws that protect journalists reporting in the public interest – not throw them in jail for doing their job. Those who speak out against misconduct and abuse should be praised, not convicted.
Together, we can demand change and decriminalise journalism.
Will you stand with journos and whistleblowers and demand press freedom be protected?
19 May 2021: A Press Freedom Senate Inquiry demands government agencies should have to prove "real and serious" harm caused by the publication of classified intelligence and information before a criminal investigation can be launched.2
15 March 2021: Then Attorney-General Christian Porter launches defamation proceedings against the ABC and journalist Louise Milligan for reporting historical rape allegations by an unnamed minister.3
9 December 2020: Australian Government rushes through laws granting ASIO sweeping new powers to interrogate journalists with the risk of prison for not revealing confidential sources.4
19 November 2020: The Brereton report is publicly released, exposing the murder of civilians by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.5
4 September 2019: The AFP raids the Canberra home of an intelligence officer. News Corp exec Campbell Reid decries the raids – "Today we are seeing that process of intimidation continue."6
29 August 2019: Dutton's right hand man and Home Affairs boss Mike Pezzullo congratulates the AFP for doing a "good job" for raiding Annika Smethurst and the ABC in June.7
5 June 2019: Federal Police raid ABC offices to seize documents relating to its 2017 investigation into allegations of Australian soldiers unlawfully killing Afghan civilians.8
4 June 2019: Federal Police raid News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst's home about a story she wrote over a year ago exposing a government plans to spy on its own citizens using military technology.9
December 2018: Anti-encryption laws are passed with bipartisan support, undermining journalists' ability to protect the identity of sources and whistleblowers.10
July 2018: Australian Government greenlights prosecution of Witness K and their lawyer Bernard Collaery for exposing a secret government operation to spy on Timor Leste during negotiations for a lucrative oil and gas deal.11
June 2018: New espionage laws are passed with bipartisan support, threatening journalists with heavy prison sentences for reporting against 'Australian interests'.12
January 2018: The ABC hands back hundreds of leaked Cabinet documents amid accusations of intense government pressure.13
 Former Australian spy Witness K spared jail time over conspiracy charges relating to alleged spying on East Timor, ABC, 18 June 2021.
 Press freedom inquiry demands government proves actual harm from journalists publishing classified information, ABC, 19 May 2021  Christian Porter's defamation action threatens to further chill public interest journalism, The Guardian, 16 March 2021.
 'Chilling attack on democracy': proposed Asio powers could be used against journalists, The Guardian, 20 October 2020.
 Key findings of the Brereton report into allegations of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, The Guardian, 19 November 2020.
 'AFP officers raid home of former government adviser in Canberra', News.com, 4 September 2019
 ''Well done': home affairs chief Mike Pezzullo praised police for raiding journalist's home', The Guardian, 29 August 2019
 'ABC's Sydney headquarters raided by Australian Federal Police over Afghan Files stories', ABC, 5 June 2019
 'Australian Federal Police raid News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst's home over alleged national security leak', ABC, 4 June 2019
 'Obviously dangerous': Labor doubles down on encryption bill with press freedom warning', SMH, 1 December 2018
 'Australia urged to drop Witness K prosecution due to 'chilling effect' on democracy', The Guardian, 24 July 2018
 'Sweeping changes to espionage, treason and secrecy laws as foreign interference bills pass', SBS News, 28 June 2018
 'ABC admits it ignored 'thousands of pages' from the Cabinet Files', Crikey, 11 April 2018
SIGN FOR A MEDIA FREEDOM ACT
To the Honorable members of the House and Senate:
We demand a Media Freedom Act to protect legitimate public interest journalism from government prosecution and malicious investigations. Our national media must be free to deliver fearless reporting to the public, without risking jail time for revealing the truth.
We need 10,794 more