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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

MEAA makes valuable contribution to press freedom discussion

The 2012 Report on Press Freedom in Australia by the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance released last Friday provides a valuable summary of the state of play on a wide range of topics and is well worth a read. (See report here-pdf)

Kicking at the Cornerstone of Democracy devotes plenty of space to the Finkelstein and Convergence reviews and associated media ownership and diversity issues. But it also highlights that the high ideals and reforming zeal evident when Labor took office is hard to spot now in some key related areas. Two cases in point are the two years (and counting) silence on the ALRC Secrecy Laws and Open Government in Australia report with more than 60 recommendations for dealing with the crazy crowded secrecy quilt consisting of  506 secrecy provisions in 176 pieces of federal legislation, including 358 distinct criminal offences; and the oft promised still to be delivered protection for public service whistleblowers with the last in a long line of missed deadlines, June 30, 2011. 

The states have plenty to do as well particularly regarding an improved framework for court suppression orders.

The summary of submissions to a NSW statutory review of defamation law by Joseph Fernandez is the first coverage I have seen of this.

Several articles include some welcome balance on the privacy front and others cover Freedom of Information developments-I'll pick up on the latter in separate posts.

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