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Why the fight for press freedom should unite us all

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The fight over press freedom is not a fight to protect media organisations. It is a fight to protect the the public’s right to be fully informed. The issue is not new, but AFP raids on both Annika Smethurst and the ABC newsroom have brought it to a head.

This week Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine Entertainment Company (publisher of this newspaper); David Anderson, managing director of the ABC and I will address the National Press Club in Canberra to raise our strong objection to the recent raids and demand immediate changes to Federal legislation that can put journalists in jail for doing their job.

Protestors hold placards during a protest rally calling for the protection of press freedom outside the office of Communications Minister Paul Fletcher Credit:AAP Image/Joel Carrett

We object to the way warrants to search journalists, their data and their activities are granted without any ability to contest them.

We object to the way public service whistleblowers face punishment rather than protection. We object to the regime which allows too many documents to be stamped secret. We object to the huge number of federal laws passed in the last decade that include measures that criminalise journalism.

But the reason we are acting so forcefully now is that the issues raised by the AFP raids at a Federal level are the tip of a very large iceberg.

Australia has a creeping........

© Brisbane Times