‘Journalism is not a crime’: Media owners and journalists unite in press freedom campaign

News Corp, Nine and other major media players have united in a campaign which today ran across several print mastheads including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Daily Telegraph.

The Journalism Is Not A Crime campaign sees media outlets and prominent journalists call for action from Parliament regarding legislation changes to “recognise and enshrine a positive public interest protection for whistleblowers and for journalists”.

In an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition and Members of Parliament which was both printed in the titles and can be accessed via, those involved list the recent Australian Federal Police raids as a ‘grave threat’ on press freedom in Australia.

The letter has been signed by prominent journalists including Barrie Cassidy, Annabel Crabb, Marina Go, Kate McClymont, Laurie Oakes and Kerry O’Brien, and also has the support of the Walkley Foundation and Melbourne Press Club.

The letter follows the raids on Annika Smethurst, a News Corp editor who had her home in Canberra raided, and the ABC’s Sydney headquarters over separate issues. Smethurst was targeted over a story on hacking and the ABC was hit regarding a story known as The Afghan Files.

Whistleblowers Richard Boyle, David McBride and Witness K are currently facing prosecution regarding their roles in information provided to journalists.

“It is also clear from the global response to the recent raids that Australia’s proud reputation around the world as a free and open society is under threat,” reads the letter.

“We urge Parliament to legislate changes to the law to recognise and enshrine a positive public interest protection for whistleblowers and for journalists. Without these protections Australians will be denied important information it is their right as citizens to have.”


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