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December 11, 2019, 05:36:02 am

Author Topic: 2019 AA Club - Week 13  (Read 162 times)

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MissSmiley

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2019 AA Club - Week 13
« on: July 22, 2019, 10:54:50 am »
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A chance for you to find some synonyms or other phrases instead of saying 'the editorial' every time!  :)

5th June 2019
Sydney Morning Herald

Media must report without fear or favour

Freedom of expression is not only a fundamental human right but an essential check and balance on state power. From it is derived the principle of a free media – and its public-interest duty to report truthfully, responsibly and without fear or favour.

Parliamentary democracies flourish only when debate flows unfettered by censorship and suppression. So the recent raids by the Australian Federal Police on the ABC’s Sydney headquarters and on the home of Canberra political journalist Annika Smethurst are of concern.

The AFP’s warrants are based on 1914 legislation designed to protect against what came to be found was an unsubstantiated threat of espionage by Germany ahead of World War I. That law was amended last year, ostensibly to give journalists greater protection against prosecution in the case of leaked material.

That amounts to journalists being protected from the threat of a prison sentence if the publication of the material is found to be in the public interest.

But, as the AFP raids have highlighted this week, that protection does not extend to whistleblowers. For this reason, Law Council president Arthur Moses decried the amendment as a ‘‘mirage’’ in that it protects the journalist but attacks the source.

These raids appear a clear warning to both whistleblowers and journalists that leaking and exposing those leaks can have dire consequences.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald do not suggest freedom of speech is unfettered – several Australian laws rightly prohibit incitement to violence or hatred. Classified material that puts our national security at genuine risk should not be published. Nor do we suggest that anyone that describes themselves as a whistleblower or a journalist should be automatically accepted as such or escape scrutiny.

Media standards are determined by statutory and self-imposed regulations. But there are unduly censorious incursions on free speech including some court suppression orders and counterterrorism laws. In the case of this ABC raid, the state’s duty to its military personnel comes up against the public’s right to know to what extent, if any, serious misconduct is being committed in the nation’s name. The balance can only be found through free and open debate.

A tenet of free media is that journalists protect their sources. The law as it stands, particularly in light of the traceability of electronic communication, compromises the national interest by intimidating potential providers of information governments might want to suppress.

Recent examples of stories that would not have been published were it not for the courage of whistleblowers include revelations that Australia’s intelligence agencies had monitored the mobile phones of Indonesia’s then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his wife and his closest advisers, and that Australia bugged the cabinet room of the East Timor government.

In 1984, The Age published transcripts of a phone tap containing sensational material that led to two Senate inquiries and a royal commission, exposed corruption within the judiciary and the police force and revealed links between politicians and organised crime identities. There are many other examples here and across the media. We recently covered information obtained from Richard Boyle, who is now facing 166 charges for leaking the Australian Taxation Office’s heavy-handed tactics against small businesses.

It should not generally be a crime to publish illegally obtained information. We have long advocated a shield for whistleblowers, and support the recent passage of a world-first statute requiring companies to protect them on pain of legal suit. Media must report on national interest issues, including intelligence and surveillance, to meet its responsibility to those who elect and have faith in the government. That faith must not be blind.

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Image of the time when the Australian Federal Police raided the ABC's Sydney headquarters: https://imgur.com/undefined

Good luck!  :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2019, 10:56:36 am by MissSmiley »

2017 : Further Maths [38]
2018 : English [45] ;English Language [43] ; Food Studies [47] ;French [33] ;Legal Studies [39]
VCE ATAR : 98.10
2019 - 2023 : Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts at Monash University

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