By MARK PEARSON Follow @Journlaw
The Abbott government’s latest tranches of national security and counter-terrorism laws represent the greatest attack on the Fourth Estate function of journalism in the modern era. They are worse than the Gillard government’s failed attempts to regulate the press.
Unlike most other Western democracies, Australia has no constitutional instrument protecting free expression as a human right. Few politicians can resist the temptation to control the flow of information if the law permits.
Here are five reasons that this latest move is damaging the democratic cornerstone of press freedom:
- It is legislative over-reach
- It gags reportage of a key public issue
- It compromises the separation of powers
- It spells the end for the confidential source
- Exemptions effectively license old media over new media.
See The Conversation today for the full article.
[Thanks to media freedom interns Jasmine Lincoln and Satoshi Horiuchi for their research assistance.]
© Mark Pearson 2014
Disclaimer: While I write about media law and ethics, nothing here should be construed as legal advice. I am an academic, not a lawyer. My only advice is that you consult a lawyer before taking any legal risks.