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Australia


-  Surface area: 7,682,300 sq. km.
-  Population: 19 138 000
-  Language: English (off.)
-  Type of State: federation of six States and two territories
-  Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
-  Head of Government: John Howard

Australia annual report 2002

True press freedom exists in Australia. In spite of the domination of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, pluralism exists in this country. But in late 2001, Australian authorities did everything they could to prevent journalists from covering the arrival of Afghani refugees.

On 30 November 2001, the Australian press council denounced censorship of news concerning the detention of a group of asylum-seekers who arrived from Indonesia by boat. The country’s media were refused access to the detention centres, most of them located in the back-country or on Pacific islands. Some journalists obtained clandestine interviews, but most of them had to make do with information provided by the authorities. According to the government, their goal was not to block the media, but, above all, to "protect the privacy of the detainees".

In December, the Australian chapter of the Commonwealth Press Union (CPU) held a press conference denouncing the difficulties that journalists encountered obtaining information from federal and provincial administrations. "The law on freedom of information is not respected and the authorities only give information in the public interest when they want to," said the president of the CPU in Australia.



asia countries list
1.Introduction Asia and the Pacific
Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei Darussalam
Burma
Cambodia
China
East Timor
Fiji
India
Indonesia
Japan
Laos
Malaysia
Maldives
Nauru
Nepal
New Zealand
North Korea
Pakistan
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Thailand
Vietnam

see also
Introduction
Annual report 2002

Hard times for press freedom
Africa annual report 2002
Americas annual report 2002
Europe annual report 2002
Maghreb / Middle-East annual report 2002