Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Details

Accepted Version.

Pearson, M. (2009). Suppression, privacy, contempt and spin: Australia's struggle with censorship in a Western democracy. Paper presented at proceedings and e-journal of the 7th AMSAR conference on roles of media during political crisis 2009. Bangkok, Thailand: Asian Mass Communication Studies Research Centre (AMSAR).

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2009 HERDC submission. FoR code: 2001

© Copyright Mark Pearson, 2009


Australia’s media organisations have joined forces to combat a level of suppression and censorship that has seen that nation languish amongst the lowest ranked western democracies in international press freedom ratings. The lobby group – called Australia’s Right To Know – held a major conference in March 2009 where prominent journalists, academics and industry leaders reviewed and debated the impact of key legislative and judge-made laws upon the work of journalists. This paper reviews that debate and assesses the steps needed to improve Australia’s international press freedom standing. It pays special attention to the potential impact of changes to the laws of freedom of information, privacy and whistleblower protections upon truth-seeking and truth-telling by Australian journalists.



This document has been peer reviewed.


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