Date of this Version

July 2005

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Pearson, Mark (2005) Police digital communications and the media. Australian Journalism Review, Vol. 27 ( 1) pp. 105-122.

Copyright © Journalism Education Association 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Permission granted.

The Australian Journalism Review is published by the Journalism Education Association


The Crime and Misconduct Commission of Queensland is conducting an inquiry into the move by the Queensland Police Service to introduce secure digital radio communication systems which will have the effect of preventing the news media from monitoring police communications to the extent that they have over the past several decades. Some other jurisdictions have already taken this step. This stands to make journalists more reliant on police media offices for their newsgathering and less able to monitor police action at the scenes of crimes and other events threatening public safety. This paper examines this step in the light of the important issues of press freedom, open justice, the public interest and prior restraint. It ends with a postscript bringing readers up to date with developments in the inquiry up to the point of publication.



This document has been peer reviewed.