A united campaign by Australian media organizations is calling for the government to better protect press freedoms. The move follows a spate of raids on a public broadcaster's office and a reporter's home in June.
Newspapers around Australia have published blacked out front pages in a unified campaign to highlight the way the conservative government falls short in protecting freedom of the press.
The front pages of Monday's edition showed a heavily redacted government document, accompanied by a media campaign demanding changes to laws that criminalize journalism and penalize whistleblowing.
The campaign is calling for six legal changes, such as a system that limits which documents can be labeled "secret" and the right to contest a search warrant.
'What are they trying to hide?'
The coalition of media organizations said over 60 pieces of legislation have been established over the past 20 years that tighten the freedoms of journalists to do their jobs and penalize whistleblowing.
"Australia is at risk of becoming the world's most secretive democracy," David Anderson, managing director of national broadcaster ABC, said in a statement.
Michael Miller, the executive chairman of News Corp Australasia, tweeted, "Australians should ask: 'What are they trying to hide from me?'"
Some examples of government secrecy, according to the campaign's website, include the government's refusal to disclose which care homes have track records of elder abuse, that the government has plans to undertake secret surveillance of its citizens, and that Australian land is being sold to foreign powers.