Today’s landmark campaign by media outlets is a welcome offensive against the erosion of media freedom and whistleblower protections, the Greens say.
“Whether it’s cruelty of horses as we saw last week, abuse in aged care, or misconduct of the banks, media freedom and whistleblower protection isn’t just about journalists, it’s about the public’s right to know,” Greens Spokesperson for Media and Communications and chair of the Senate Inquiry into Press Freedoms, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“In just two years there’s been about 22 pieces of legislation the Federal Government has rammed through the Parliament that increase secrecy in our democracy, under a guise of ‘national security’.
“The truth is, those in power don’t want the public to know what they’re up to and are shutting down transparency and accountability to serve their own interests.
“This campaign by the Right to Know coalition provides many examples of wrongdoing and misconduct that would never have had a spotlight on them without whistleblowers and the protection of journalists’ sources and media freedoms.
“What’s really at stake here is one of the pillars of our democracy. The message to the government is very clear and it’s time they acted. Giving discretionary power to the Attorney-General just doesn’t cut it. Journalism is not a crime and legislation should protect them, not criminalise them.”