On Monday, October 21, all newspapers in Australia blackened their first pages against government restrictions on the press.
In Australia, the government’s restrictions on press freedom, citing ‘national security, united the country’s biggest competing newspapers. The Australian press protested the government by “censoring” the first pages with a joint decision. Numerous television channels, radio stations and websites also supported the action.
The media stressed that the security laws implemented in the last two years threatened investigative journalism and the right of the public to take information was taken away from them.
According to the news in Sputnik, journalists who are not content with the blackout have called for a new formula against the permission required for searches in the press and for taking steps to protect journalists’ resources.
“What are they hiding from me?”
Michael Miller, chairman of News Corp Australia, one of the largest media outlets in the country, shared the censored first pages of the newspaper on his Twitter account and said:”Every time a government imposes new restrictions on what journalists can report, Australians should ask: the Australians should ask themselves: What are they trying to hide from me?”
Every time a government imposes new restrictions on what journalists can report, Australians should ask: 'What are they trying to hide from me?' – Why I've taken a stand against increasing government secrecy in Australia https://t.co/BQek4KvKyB #righttoknow pic.twitter.com/cpXJEvz7pj
— Michael Miller (@michaelmillerau) October 20, 2019
David Anderson, Managing Director of the national broadcaster ABC, commented, “Australia runs the risk of becoming one of the world’s most secret democracies. David Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed the importance of press freedom, but “no one is above the law,” he gave the message. “This includes me, any journalist, everyone, Morris Morrison said. The decision to protest the press was taken in June following police raids on journalists.
Protest decision was taken before raids
The Australian Federal Police raided the state’s channel ABC’s Sydney office and the home of a journalist working at News Corp Australia and made an investigation on the accusal of “spreading confidential news that put national security in danger”.
And stated that 2 journalist and a news manager could face trial”
Trade unions, press organizations, non-governmental organizations and politicians strongly reacted to this development.