Friday, June 29th, 2018 #MEAAMedia #pressfreedom Featured News

The sickening news of five deaths in a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette newspaper group highlights the growing threats to journalists.

Before today’s incident, at least 43 journalists have been killed in targeted killings or cross-fire incidents around the world this year.

Police have confirmed the suspect in this latest incident intended to target the Capital Gazette group and had previously made threats on social media.

“When political leaders around the world are regularly decrying 'fake news' and labelling journalists as 'enemies' they are contributing to a volatile and dangerous environment for journalists,” said MEAA Media section president Marcus Strom.

“While we still don’t know the exact motive for this attack, we can’t ignore the proliferation of this dangerous rhetoric. Words have consequences.

“It is time for leaders to demonstrate their respect and support for journalists and journalism. Threats, harassment and intimidation of the media are threats to press freedom and should be called out as such,” Strom said.

"Australian journalists are devastated by the news but are inspired by the courage of journalists and staff at the Capital Gazette to continue to serve their community and the craft that we love."

What do you want to say?

Here are some suggestions about the kinds of things you might want to include in your submission:
  • What is the media like where you live? How much diversity/concentration of media is there in your area? How important to you is media diversity and having a wide range of voices and opinions? Will the takeover reduce competition/diversity in the Australian media sector?
  • What Fairfax and Nine publications and programs do you consume? What attracted you to them in the first place, and what do they mean to you/your family/household? What will be the impact of the takeover on the choice and range of media you consume?
  • How distinct is Fairfax journalism – what makes it different?  Describe a story or stories published by Fairfax over the years which have made a difference to you/had an impact on you/changed the way you think? What would your life/community be like without the journalism that Fairfax produces?
  • Who are the Fairfax journalists you always read/trust?
  • How important is fearless, independent journalism? What will be the impact of the takeover on investigative journalism and does it increase the risk of that independence being compromised by the commercial interests of the proprietor or its advertisers?
  • What else do you think the ACCC should consider when ruling on this takeover, and what would you like the ACCC to do?