The board rejected the request as not in the public interest. This will make it much easier and more efficient to issue your press release to the right … Officials, including senior figures at the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Department of Home Affairs, have defended the need for a high level of secrecy, criticised media coverage and argued that some of the recommendations put forward by media organisations would threaten national security. Know Your Rights Campaign. 'A culture of secrecy': what is the Right to Know campaign about. It is being conducted alongside a more wide-ranging press freedom inquiry by a Senate committee. The information was revealed by ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle. Water shortages, COVID-19, economic downturn and distrust in China are causing record-low pessimism among Australians. Victorian police later obtained warrants to search the journalists’ digital and hard copy files. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, formerly owned by Fairfax Media and now Nine, have a long history of significant investigative journalism. Renewed demands for equal rights from Thailand’s LGBT activists have accompanied the recent pro-democracy protests. The U.K. sealed its second-biggest trade pact in the Asia-Pacific as its exit from EU trading structures looms. Newspaper … They argue that members of the public have a right to know about the conduct of those in power, with this transparency and accountability critical to the functioning of a free and functional society. We want the Australian public to be aware of the growing threat to their ability – and fundamental right – to know information that impacts their lives. This reporting was based on information from the party’s database, which the reporters had accessed. Even more than Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the two British battleships served to convince political and naval authorities of the pre-eminence of airpower in the Pacific. After recording the first locally transmitted case in November, Mongolia’s local cases of COVID-19 have surpassed imported cases. The Right2Know Campaign is a South African non-profit advocacy organisation established in 2010 to reduce state secrecy in the drafting of laws, increase access to information, and protect freedom of expression especially on the internet. Australia’s protections for press freedom are weaker than other Western democracies. In Britain, human rights legislation explicitly protects freedom of expression. A key concern in the discussion is also whistleblower protections to ensure that any individual has the ability to approach media outlets with information they believe should be aired publicly. It focuses on three main areas - access to information, communication rights, and state transparency. 1.4K likes. A week earlier, a former military lawyer was committed to stand trial over the leak of documents to the ABC. All of us should be suspicious when the government is introducing laws that mean we don't know what's going on. Participate in all decisions about your care; The Speak Up For Your Rights campaign features an infographic—in both English and Spanish, and in three different sizes (8.5 x 11˝, 11 x 17˝, and 24 x 36˝). “Unlike the Morrison government, Labor believes in freedom of the press and the public’s right to know,” shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus wrote on Twitter. In one advertisement, viewers were told of the government’s refusal to disclose the aged care homes responsible for more than 4,000 reports of assaults of residents last year. The Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative has identified and teamed up with top defense lawyers and civil rights lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need. The outlets are seeking to combat a growing culture of secrecy that restricts journalists’ ability to hold the powerful to account. The “Your Right to Know” campaign came after months of mounting tension between the media and the government following the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raid on … Read more explainers here. The Right to Know campaign, backed by some of the country’s biggest media companies including the ABC, Nine and SBS, is asking for six legal reforms to combat government secrecy, protect the public’s access to information, and enshrine protections for journalists and whistleblowers. He has now been charged with 66 offences and faces 161 years in prison. Nor are we looking for an opportunity to put national security at risk. Australia has no strong legal protections for journalism and free expression, making it unique among comparable countries. China now has an answer to the United States' Entity List. The evening before the papers hit the stands, major Australian broadcasters, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), the Special Broadcasting Service, Channel Seven, Nine, Ten, and Sky News all ran televised advertisements criticizing government secrecy. The "Your Right to Know" campaign intensifies the case for significant law reform to stop the suppression of information that is vital to consumers, citing real-world examples such as the suppression of information about abuse of the elderly in aged care homes. Enjoying this article? According to the coalition of media organisations, the balance is wrong and the law should be changed to plug gaps and protect public-interest journalism. About DONATE TO COLIN KAEPERNICK'S KNOW YOUR RIGHTS CAMP HERE! One reason is we’ve just assumed Parliament would respect these rights. In a new book, a professor at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. explores how great power competition is driving greater naval reach of Eurasian powers. North Korea continues to be hypersensitive about its handling of the pandemic. Constitutional lawyer George Williams has pointed to the approximately 75 rounds of national security legislation that have been passed by the Parliament since September 11, 2001. Australia’s main opposition party has backed the campaign. Tell the government that you have a right to know, and that you are joining the call for reforms to legislation to protect media freedom in Australia. “There is no other country like us. Under the LawThrough the 1935 National Labor Relations Act employees have the legal right to form a union in their workplace, engage in collective action around work issues, and it bars employers from anti-union and anti-organizing retaliation ranging from asking what your opinion on your union is all the way to threatening, harassing, disciplining, transfering, and a wide This inquiry has heard from media outlets, government officials and independent experts. Before the event, track your media contacts by having your group call the media you want to reach, find out the name of the news editor or specialized correspondents and gather contact information and other details on a simple form. Joshua Mcdonald is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Only 37 per cent think this describes the status quo. With two government committees looking into press freedom and issuing recommendations over the coming months about the laws which decide what you get to know and what your government can keep from you. “Australia is the only democracy in the world that does not protect free speech and freedom of the press through a charter or bill of rights,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. The Right2Know campaign was launched in August 2010 as an alliance of civil society organisations responding to the Protection of State Information Bill (the “Secrecy Bill”). News Corp journalist Annika Smethust, whose home was raided by federal police. The campaign kicked off on the evening of Sunday, October 20 with television ads across commercial networks, followed by the front pages of Australia’s newspapers redacted on Monday morning, as well as further coverage across radio and … In 2010, The Age revealed that the Victorian Labor Party held sensitive personal information about voters without their knowledge. Research conducted by the media companies found 87 per cent of people believe it’s important for Australia to be a free and open democracy. Jaishankar’s remarks offer a glimpse into India’s future trajectory. Australia’s Right to Know coalition includes Nine, News Corp, the ABC, SBS, The Guardian, and journalists’ union the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. Newspaper front pages across all major media outlets on Monday.Credit:Eddie Jim. Right to Know In only 5 years (2010-2014) more than 11,000 cases of “honour” based violence were recorded by the police. This campaign is a culmination of efforts by Australia’s leading media organisations and industry groups, over a decade, to protect the Australian public’s right to know. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and senior colleagues defended the police raids as the independent actions of an agency doing its job to protect national security. The story had revealed a proposal for electronic intelligence agency the Australian Signals Directorate to take on an expanded domestic role and that figures inside government were concerned about the idea. Jennifer Robinson, an Australian human rights lawyer and barrister, wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald the day that the campaign launched that actions out of Canberra resemble those of an authoritarian regime. But this is hardly the group's first outing. On your own social media channel, share a graphic from this website. A majority of survey respondents also agreed the government had become less transparent, whistleblowing was important and should be protected, and journalists should be protected from prosecution. Know Your Rights Camp is a free campaign founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios. campaign came after months of mounting tension between the media and the government following the Australian Federal Police (. The front pages of major Australian newspapers were redacted on Monday as part of the "Your right to know" campaign. The Right to Know Campaign was formed to support an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill to ensure that women considering an abortion would be guaranteed access to independent information and advice from someone who had no vested financial interest in the outcome of their decision. Following the turbulent week of raids in early June, the New York Times published an editorial titled “Australia may well be the world’s most secretive democracy.”, Damian Cave, the author of the article, opined that Australia’s “aggressive approach fits with a global trend.”, “Democracies from the United States to the Philippines are increasingly targeting journalists to ferret out leaks, silence critics and punish information sharing — with President Trump leading the verbal charge by calling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’. The R2K founding statement has been endorsed by over 400 organisations, and nearly 30 000 people. David McBride, the whistleblower at the center of the Afghan Files, which subsequently led to the AFP raid on the ABC, is also facing charges and is in the first stage of the trial behind closed doors in Canberra. Australia’s Right to Know (ARTK) is a coalition of leading Australian media outlets and organisations. The defences available in defamation law are also considered to be weak and complex, with Australia attracting a reputation as the defamation capital of the world. Know your rights Everyone has basic rights under the U.S. Constitution and civil rights laws. Patients need to know their rights “The rule of law has to be applied evenly and fairly in protection of our broader freedoms, and so I don’t think anyone, I would hope, is looking for a leave pass on those things,” he said. The international organisation has warned that investigative journalism is under threat from “draconian” laws. Robertson said more needed to be done to get Australia’s law up to speed with those of the United Kingdom. Publishers and broadcasters have been at pains to emphasise that protections for media freedom are about the health of democracy. Below the memo read, “When government keeps the truth from you, what are they covering up?”, The exact same memo ran on the front page of both national newspapers, the, and on all major metropolitan newspapers, including the. In April 2012, investigative journalist Chris Vedelago submitted a FOI request to the Foreign Investment Review Board for documents relating to the approval of the sale of a vast tract of agricultural land to a Canadian company. Write to your local MP and make your voice heard. In 1975, the Australian Governor-General dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and birthed a flurry of conspiracy theories. ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle now faces jail.Credit:Ben Searcy. As part of this the campaign monitors and challenges potential legislation that it believes would infringe on personal liberties and transparent government. The exact same memo ran on the front page of both national newspapers, the Australian and the Australian Financial Review and on all major metropolitan newspapers, including the Age, the Herald Sun, the Daily Telegraph, the Courier Mail, the West Australian, the Advertiser, NT News, the Mercury, the Canberra Times, and on the digital homepage of the Guardian and countless other websites. Another global watchdog, Freedom House, has warned of a troubling trend in Australia despite a strong democratic history. There is also hostility within the Coalition towards any changes seen as weakening national security. We’re a coalition of Australia’s leading media organisations and industry groups, formed more than a decade ago to protect the Australian public’s right to know. The Right To Know campaign made a huge splash across Australia's mainstream papers this week. © 2020 Diplomat Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Porter has said he would be “seriously disinclined” to authorise the prosecutions. Us, Write They have responded to the broader furore over press freedom by calling a parliamentary inquiry and issuing directives to agencies emphasising the importance of a free press. All of Australia’s major media organisations have joined forces to call for reforms to protect public interest journalism in Australia. Reporters Without Borders ranked Australia as 21st in the world for press freedom in 2019, dropping two places since last year. 1,225 likes. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer. On October 21, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s most widely read newspaper, ran a heavily redacted memo on its front page. But this is not the full picture: in 2012 1 in 5 police forces failed to properly record cases and many cases are never reported . In anticipation of the October 21 campaign, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he believes in the rule of law and that no one is above it. On June 5, as part of a separate leak investigation, police raided the Sydney headquarters of the ABC over a 2017 series on accusations of war crimes committed by Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan. Right To Know takes over newspaper front covers across Australia. SEE THE NEWCASTLE HERALD'S 'YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW' CAMPAIGN HERE Mark Willacy and the ABC Investigations-Four Corners team have won the Gold Walkley for their investigation "Killing Field". Radio ads are also part of the campaign which also includes front pages of newspapers today from all publishers. On June 4, police conducted a six-hour raid on the home of News Corp political journalist Annika Smethurst over an April 2018 story. Hanoi has had to tread carefully during a fraught period of transition in Washington. On any other day, many of these media outlets would be each other’s fiercest rival, but in a rare show of unity, Australian news organizations launched an unprecedented campaign seeking to combat a growing culture of secrecy that they say restricts journalists’ ability to hold the powerful to account. This work has regularly come into conflict with the authorities, and journalists have faced police raids, punishment of whistleblowers and restrictive FOI processes. The police actions highlighted a perceived rise of cultural secrecy and legal restrictions that impinge on media freedom in Australia. How and why we advocate for media freedom But we have a press freedom problem that raises genuine questions about whether we continue to deserve that title,” she wrote. Whistleblower Richard Boyle has been charged with 66 offences and faces 161 years in jail for revealing how the Australian Taxation Office can seize funds from the bank accounts of taxpayers assessed to owe the ATO money, regardless of their personal circumstances. Share the Your Right to Know website on Facebook and Twitter. George Williams, a constitutional lawyer and dean of the Law School at the University of NSW, has pointed to the no fewer than 75 sets of national security-related legislation which have been passed since September 11, 2001. #NoRightsNoParty the day that the campaign launched that actions out of Canberra resemble those of an authoritarian regime. The inquiry, conducted by the intelligence and security committee, is examining the impact of national security laws on press freedom. for Us. Media organisations in Australia have long been concerned about threats to journalism, but the issue exploded into the public consciousness following two consecutive police raids earlier this year. he said that whistleblowers were rarely shielded by whistleblower protections and the intelligence watchdog (IGIS) had been found lacking in its ability to protect those who made disclosures. Vedelago appealed the decision to the independent information commissioner, who didn’t make a decision until November 2014. How will Beijing use its version? The campaign, an unprecedented show of unity between competitors, is pushing for stronger protections for media freedom after years of perceived deterioration. Read Today's Paper Tributes Rewards. Privately, the Morrison government has indicated a scepticism that media freedom is something that grabs the public’s attention. Porter has since intervened to support the Australian federal police in the high court case against News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst. Following the turbulent week of raids in early June, the, published an editorial titled “Australia may well be the world’s most secretive democracy.”, Democracies from the United States to the Philippines are increasingly targeting journalists to ferret out leaks, silence critics and punish information sharing — with President Trump leading the verbal charge by calling journalists ‘the enemy of the people.’, Jennifer Robinson, an Australian human rights lawyer and barrister, wrote in the. Australia’s Right to Know coalition includes Nine, News Corp, the ABC, SBS, The Guardian, and journalists’ union the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. If you'd like some expert background on an issue or a news event, drop us a line at explainers@smh.com.au or explainers@theage.com.au. Canberra is set to introduce legislation giving the federal government a veto over state and territory deals with foreign governments. Just $5 a month. They have formed a coalition movement to vehemently oppose this bill from Attorney-General Christian Porter said last week that he is “seriously disinclined” to approve prosecution of journalists who have “done no more that pursue public interest journalism,” but also defended the government’s stance, saying the government was balancing the rights of a free press against other rights, including fair trials and non-vilification. Last week, the covers of Australia’s major papers all ran a heavily redacted memo in response to increased pressure on the press. In 2018, a joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the ABC’s Four Corners uncovered the Australian Taxation Office’s mistreatment of taxpayers. 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