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ARCHIVES: Australia

November 4, 2014

Australia's Data Retention Bill an "attack" on press freedom

The Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) has condemned the proposed Telecommunications (Interceptions and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014 as an outrageous attack on press freedom that will have a chilling effect on journalists and their ability to work with sources to bring matters of public interest to light. Long before the current Bill, in August 2012, MEAA wrote in its submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into reforms to national security legislation: "Due to the... MORE
October 28, 2014

Impunity prevails: Australia's federal police fail the Balibo Five

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia's journalists, has condemned the decision of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to abandon the investigation into the murder of five Australian journalists in East Timor. October 16 marked the 39th anniversary of the murder of journalists Brian Peters , Malcolm Rennie , Tony Stewart , Gary Cunningham and Greg Shackleton in Balibo. MEAA federal secretary Christopher Warren said, “This is an... MORE
October 1, 2014

Security laws attack Australia’s press freedom

The International Federation of Journalists and its affiliate Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) have described the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill No 1 as an outrageous attack on press freedom in Australia . The amendment bill was ‘urgently’ pushed through the Senate receiving 44 votes to 12 on the night of Thursday September 25 with bipartisan support from the Labor Party. The amendments which include imposing up to 10 years in jail for journalists for ‘unauthorised... MORE
October 1, 2014

Australia's national security bills threaten press freedom

Australia's National Security Reform Bill One was passed in the upper house on Thursday and would become law if passed by the lower house this week as expected, according to reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said it is gravely concerned over the national security -related bill, which could result in prison time of up to 10 years for journalists who report on intelligence in Australia . The government has said the bill, which was introduced in July, was designed to close gaps... MORE
July 17, 2014

New bill in Australia targeting intelligence raises concern

A bill introduced in the Australian parliament on Wednesday could result in journalists being targeted for prosecution and jail for reporting on intelligence information. The bill includes the creation of a new offense punishable by five years in prison for "any person" who discloses information relating to "special intelligence operations," reports said. In special intelligence operations, intelligence officers could be immune from prosecution if they engage in conduct that would be otherwise... MORE
March 19, 2014

Australian court order welcomed but points to flaws in journalist shield laws

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA), the union and industry advocate for Australia's journalists, has welcomed the decision by Justice Janine Pritchard in the West Australian Supreme Court to order Gina Rinehart's company Hancock Prospecting to pay the legal costs incurred by senior Fairfax Media journalist and MEAA Media member Adele Ferguson . Rinehart, who has the largest individual shareholding in Fairfax, failed in her efforts to compel Ferguson to breach her ethical... MORE
May 5, 2011

Australia: Fairfax staff up in arms as publisher decides to outsource subbing

Staff at two of Australia's biggest broadsheet newspapers are considering strike action after their management announced another round of cost cuts, ABC has reported. Fairfax Media has announced that in-house sub-editors at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age will no longer proof-read, fact-check and rewrite stories before they go to print. The details: [ Link ] The company's chief executive, Greg Hywood, announced the roles of news, business and sport sub-editors would be shifted to an... MORE
April 29, 2011

Clarence House blocks Australian satire of wedding

The BBC and the Associated Press Television News (APTN) censored satirical coverage of Friday’s royal wedding in London by The Chaser, an Australian comedy team. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) was forced to cancel The Chaser’s alternative coverage of the wedding after the BBC threatened to withdraw its feed from the national broadcaster if it did not stop the programme. The BBC was apparently responding to directions from Clarence House, the private office of the Prince of Wales... MORE
July 29, 2010

Rival Australian newspaper publishers join hands to promote advertising

Rival Australian newspaper publishers Fairfax Media and APN News & Media have agreed on an alliance combining Fairfax’s online classified advertising with the print classified sections of 90 regional daily and local newspapers published by APN in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. The deal, reported, will allow Fairfax to promote its classified websites –, and – to advertisers in regional areas where the company does not publish a... MORE
November 20, 2007

Press freedom under serious threat in Australia, finds report

Australia's proud international reputation for the strength of its democratic institutions and civil rights records received a blow with the latest findings of the 'Report of the Independent Audit into the State of Free Speech in Australia'. RSF focused on the anti-terrorism laws in Australia that “risk being abusively used against the press” such as phone-tapping without judicial supervision or forcing journalists to give information and name sources to police or the court. ARTICLE 19 says its... MORE