Australian newspapers black out front pages in 'secrecy' protest

BBC

21st October, 2019 11:14:27 printer

Australian newspapers black out front pages in 'secrecy' protest

Australia's biggest newspaper rivals have made a rare showing of unity by publishing redacted front pages in a protest against press restrictions.

The News Corp Australia and Nine mastheads on Monday showed blacked-out text beside red stamps marked "secret".

The protest is aimed at national security laws which journalists say have stifled reporting and created a "culture of secrecy" in Australia.

The government said it backed press freedom but "no one was above the law".

In June, police raids on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the home of a News Corp Australia journalist generated a huge backlash.

The media organisations said the raids had been conducted over articles which had relied on leaks from whistleblowers. One detailed allegations of war crimes, while the other reported an alleged attempt by a government agency to spy on Australian citizens.

The campaign on Monday, by the Right to Know Coalition, was also supported by several TV, radio and online outlets.

Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australia, tweeted an image of his blacked-out mastheads which include The Australian and The Daily Telegraph. He urged the public to ask of the government: "What are they trying to hide from me?"


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