Afrique Ameriques Europe Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
 
Australia 22 May 2007

Western Australia’s top officials threaten state’s leading newspaper

Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today about attempts by the authorities in the state of Western Australia to blackmail the management of The West Australian newspaper. Attorney-general Jim McGinty threatened to withdraw state advertising and to not implement a proposed shield law protecting journalists’ sources unless editor Paul Armstrong is fired.

"We condemn the Western Australia government’s threat to punish a newspaper that refuses to modify its editorial line," the press freedom organisation said. "This blackmail is unworthy of a democracy. The threats made by the state’s attorney-general and premier require an apology. We express our support for Armstrong and the rest of The West Australian staff."

McGinty’s threats were made on 16 May, when he accused The West Australian of dishonesty and failing to respect journalistic ethics. Addressing the state parliament the next day, Western Australia premier Alan Carpenter personally threatened Armstrong, calling him "dishonest," "immature" and a "problem for the state."

The newspaper’s chief executive rejected the attacks and reiterated his confidence in Armstrong. "Every government would prefer to have a compliant media which simply recycles the government’s version of events" he said. "However, that is not how The West Australian or any other credible media organisation operates." The newspaper, which is the state’s only daily, is often critical of the government.

The federal attorney-general recently announced that he would go ahead with a shield law protecting the confidentiality of sources.

Australia is ranked 35th out of 168 countries in the Reporters Without Borders 2006 World Press Freedom Index.




In this country
26 September - Australia
Federal police violate confidentiality of reporter’s sources by raiding his home
7 May - Australia
Police raid on Perth newspaper highlights need to protect confidentiality of sources
23 November - Australia
What the next prime minister must do to improve press freedom
16 November - Australia - Indonesia - Timor
Coroner says death of "Balibo five" was premeditated war crime by Indonesian army
6 June - Australia - Indonesia - East Timor
Australian authorities had no reason to apologise to Jakarta governor Sutiyoso

in the annual report
Australia - Annual report 2008
Australia- Annual report 2007
Australia - Annual report 2006

reports
4 May 2009 - Nepal
Mission report : A call to end violence and impunity
2 April 2009 - Pakistan
Fact-finding visit by Reporters Without Borders to Swat “valley of fear”
16 March 2009 - Afghanistan
Report of fact-finding mission : Press freedom in free-fall in run-up to presidential election
archives

Asia archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives

Asia press releases
3 June - North Korea
Pyongyang judges asked to be lenient with two American journalists
3 June - Afghanistan
US forces arrest a journalist in Khost
3 June - China
“Tank Man” photo displayed outside Chinese embassy in Paris on eve of Tiananmen Square massacre
2 June - China
Blocking of Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Blogger deprives Chinese of Web 2.0
2 June - Sri Lanka
Press freedom activist badly beaten in Colombo, hospitalised