The two raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on journalists and media organisations represent a disturbing attempt to intimidate legitimate news journalism that is in the public interest.
They suggest that no media organisation is immune from government attacks on press freedom.
For journalists, there is nothing more important to our profession than the freedom of the press. Without it, we cannot effectively perform our jobs of informing the public.
Attacks on journalists are an attack on the public’s right to know. Laws that allow daily police raids threaten the public’s right to know.
Our laws are meant to preserve democracy — not undermine it.
The MEAA has issued a media release after the raid, read it here.
Over the past decade or so, successive governments have passed multiple laws under the guise of national security which have effectively criminalised journalism. This has created an environment in which police raiding journalists is becoming normalised, and it has to stop.
The laws need to change so the free press can do its job without fear or favour.
The public interest demands it.
The only thing that can stop the raids is to change the law to introduce positive protections for journalists and whistleblowers from the threat of warrants, searches, arrests and imprisonment for reporting the truth.
There will be other opportunities in coming weeks for you to join a national campaign to change the laws.