The Australian Greens share the serious concerns held by ABC chair Ita Buttrose regarding ongoing attacks on press freedoms and the Government’s flippant response. The AFP raids on a News Corp journalist’s home and the ABC Sydney headquarters must be investigated.
“This is a very troubling start to this Government. The timing is all very suss, and the heavy-handed, intimidating operations are chilling. ABC Chair Ita Buttrose is right when she says a free media is important to our democracy. Journalists reporting in the public interest should not be treated like criminals,” Greens media spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“This is an attack on our democracy and an attack on those who tell the truth - the journalists and whistleblowers we rely on to keep our governments accountable.
“The Prime Minister says he’s not troubled - well he should be, the rest of us are.
“The Prime Minister needs to come clean with the Australian people. Who ordered these raids, who referred the journalists and who signed off the referrals? What was Peter Dutton’s role in all of this?
“Over the past 6 years there has been slide toward criminalising journalism. The Liberal and Labor Parties have together passed laws that attack the freedom of the press and whistleblowers, and this is where it has ended up.
“An inquiry can help us understand the chilling decline in freedom of the press, what protections are necessary for those that speak truth to power, and what we can do to restore this pillar of our democracy.
“This is why we need an urgent inquiry into the attack on press freedom and democracy in Australia. Australians have a right to know what their government is up to. They should have faith that the journalists working at our public broadcaster, reporting in the public interest, are not going to be treated like criminals.
“A Government that shows contempt for press freedom and whistleblowers is a dangerous government.”