NMA Comments On Amendments To National Security Bill

NMA Comments On Amendments To National Security Bill

The News Media Association will “consider carefully” whether the government amendments to the National Security Bill address concerns around press freedom, chief executive Owen Meredith said today.  

Commenting on the amendments, Owen said: “We welcome the government’s recognition of concerns with the National Security Bill and how, as currently drafted, it risks criminalising journalists for legitimate reporting; contrary to stated intentions. We should not allow a situation where the public is deprived of knowing vital information because legislation unwittingly chills the media. 

“We will therefore consider carefully how the government’s amendments tabled yesterday seek to address those concerns and if they provide a workable solution, or if further amendments are needed to provide clarity.”

The NMA was part of a global coalition representing media from across the world which warned in January that provisions in the Bill could have a chilling effect on journalism, creating a blueprint for authoritarian governments around the world to threaten journalists, activists and whistle-blowers.

The NMA will scrutinise the new amendments to ensure the Bill does not impact upon legitimate whistle-blowers and public interest journalism.