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Blog post
November 6, 2019

Your Right to Know: Who is leading the Media Freedom conversation?

The Your Right to Know Campaign was established in response to deteriorating media freedom. It prompted an unprecedented collaboration between competitors including Nine, News Corp, the ABC, SBS, The Guardian and journalists’ union in the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance. All in an effort to call for reforms to protect public interest from Australia.

Politicians dominate the discussion

On Monday 21 October, Australian media organisations blacked-out text on print newspapers, instead of showing front-page headlines. The first bold statement instigated by campaign members. As a result, it created a lot of chatter in the media –  mentions spiked at 3,042 across across social and traditional media.

Data analysed by Isentia, shows in the week October 21 to October 25 2019 there were a total of 6,242 mentions of “press freedom.” 

While it was the media who started the campaign on Monday, through the week politicians had 60% share of voice on the topic. Prominent journalists followed with 22.8% and CEOs of media organisations 15.3%.

Groups leading the conversations. Key term used ‘Press Freedom’ 21 – 25 October 2019

Top spokespeople

Despite journalists and media organisations instigating the campaign, politicians dominated the conversations. The top spokespeople discussing the topic for the week period were:

1.Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister – 95 mentions

2.Anthony Albanese, Federal Opposition Leader – 38 mentions

3. Barnaby Joyce, Nationals MP – 33 mentions

4.Hugh Marks, CEO Nine Entertainment – 33 mentions

5. Campbell Reid, Senior Journalist, News Corp – 32 mentions


Dominating the discussions, politicians generated negative sentiment around “press freedom”.

Sentiment of the keyword “press freedom” in the media from 21-25 October

Background

Over the past two decades, 75 laws related to secrecy and spying have been passed through parliament. These laws criminalise some practices within journalism and penalise whistleblowers. Government wrongdoings could be hidden and important decisions regarding public information may be concealed. As a result, Australia has been described by the New York Times as the world’s most secretive democracy. 

Media organisations are taking action with the ‘Your Right to Know’ campaign. They’re determined to change the government’s approach to media freedom so they can provide Australians with essential information.  They’re pressing for the introduction of a Media Freedom Act, which they say would be advantageous for national security, press freedom and democracy, and ensure legitimate journalism is not subject to criminal charges.

If you would like to receive unparalleled media insight or to better understand trends in the media, get in touch with us today.

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