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'Extraordinary': There's a new name on the list of media-unfriendly nations

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This week, journalists, filmmakers and media executives from around the world will gather in London for two important events. The first is an enjoyable celebration of success – the AIBs – that rewards the world’s best investigative journalists and factual storytellers. It’s a competition that the Association for International Broadcasting has hosted for the past 14 years.

The second centres on a far more serious and worrying subject: a meeting of leading broadcasters and publishers that the AIB is convening to explore the challenges faced by media organisations as they react to increasing infringements on media freedom in an ever greater number of territories. Nothing too surprising, considering the state of the world we see, hear and read about every day in our news. Yet what is extraordinary is that alongside the usual suspects of Iran, states in Central Asia and dictatorships across Africa where media freedom is a distant dream, Australia will feature prominently in our discussions, and for all the wrong reasons.


This year, there’s a greater distance between Australia and the rest of the world than there has been for a long while. It’s not a geographic distance. Instead it is the gulf that’s opening up between Australia and Western democracies on media freedom. In 2019, Australia has taken a significant step away from other developed nations as media institutions in the country have been subject to what amounts to........

© The Sydney Morning Herald