In what might be termed as maligning people’s right to information, Australia is witnessing a serious threat to the most independent of forces in the world, the press. With an intention to curb investigation and maintain a state of secrecy, the government and law enforcement have launched a tirade of barriers to media investigation by major journalists and News houses in the country. Freedom of press is under serious threat in Australia. In a recent effort to appeal against the abrupt fence by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) urged by governmental bodies, the journalist community of the country came together to raise concerns over criminalizing the field.
Following AFP raids on the Canberra home of a journalist and the Sydney office of a prominent news house over separate investigations into government leaks, members of the media, including a number of senior executives from top media organizations came together before the federal parliament’s powerful intelligence and security committee in Sydney. Free press is hindered under many laws in the country, often presented as necessary to national security. The joint force against these laws that exclude journalists from very important information that, they felt people have the right to know.
News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller spoke of politicians stamping documents “secret” and hiding behind laws that keep Australians in the dark. “We have many laws that criminalize journalism. They are creating a secret society that most Australians would not recognize as our own. We may not be living in a police state, but we are living in a state of secrecy. The package of law changes that we are seeking will put a stop to the creeping secrecy that shrouds Canberra,” Mr. Miller told the committee.