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Public Interest Advocate not enough to protect journalists from raids

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 16 Dec 2020

Reforms to journalist and whistle-blower protections announced by the Federal Government today do not go far enough to protect journalists from raids on their homes or workplaces, the Greens say. 

Chair of the Senate’s Inquiry into Press Freedoms, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“Under the reforms proposed by the Attorney General today, journalists can still have their homes or workplaces raided without prior knowledge. Journalists and their employers will still not have the right to appear before a judge and contest a search warrant before it is executed. Journalism remains a crime and journalists can still be jailed under these reforms.

“Journalists should not be charged for doing their jobs full stop. They should not have their homes raided. They should not be intimidated or threatened. They should not be attacked by the government for reporting what is in the public interest.

“We have seen in recent months, vindication for those journalists whose homes and workplaces were raided over their reports on alleged war crimes and the government’s plans to spy on Australians. Public interest journalism is vital to our democracy.

“We need proper protections for journalists including a contested warrants process to be enshrined in a Media Freedom Act.”  

The Senate Inquiry into Press Freedom will report in early 2021.

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