Regional newspapers: Don't keep us in the dark

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 20 November 2019

News Corp Australia’s regional titles today ran with the same front page highlighting excessive secrecy by governments to stop journalists from telling the public what they are doing.

The headline "Don't keep us in the dark" was published in regional Queensland, NSW, the Northern Territory and Victoria. In Hobart, The Mercury also produced a front page exposing local government secrecy.

The local news brands joining in the campaign come from Bundaberg, Grafton, the Sunshine Coast, Northern Star, Rockhampton, Townsville, Cairns, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Warwick, Darwin, Gladstone, the Gold Coast, Mackay, Ipswich, Gympie, Toowoomba, Geelong, Hobart, Toowoomba, Geelong, Hobart, Lismore and Coffs Harbour.

The move forms part of Australia’s Right to Know campaign by major media organisations targeting growing government overreach to stop journalists informing the public of matters of public interest.

"These front pages send a powerful message that Australia's media is standing up for the rights of all regional Australians to know what their governments are doing," says News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller. 

"The Right to Know campaign is important for our industry as a whole but it's much more than that. Governments of all levels - local, state and federal - too often exploit what they perceive as a lack of scrutiny outside of mainland capital cities to take questionable decisions and actions."

  • Australia’s Right To Know coalition of media organisations is demanding the federal government:
  • Allow the right to contest applications for warrants on journalists or news outlets;
  • Amend national security laws to ensure journalists cannot be jailed for simply doing their jobs;
  • Ensure legitimate public-sector whistleblowers are adequately protected;
  • Have new legislation that defines and restricts what information can be kept secret; and
  • Review Freedom of Information and defamation laws.Don't keep us in the dark

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