Rights and responsibilities: Literary journals and freedom of expression

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June–July 2020, no. 422

Rights and responsibilities: Literary journals and freedom of expression

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June–July 2020, no. 422

A number of recent political events in Australia will have enduring and wide-ranging impacts on freedom of expression in this country. They include the denial of access to archival papers concerning the Whitlam dismissal, which Professor Jenny Hocking detailed in the April 2020 issue of ABR.

There are also mounting concerns about raids on and threats to journalists, especially the mixed decision in the High Court in April 2020 concerning Annika Smethurst and the possibility of charges against her. More recently, Peter Dutton has proposed changes that would give home affairs agencies more power to influence the circulation of information and the privacy of individual citizens. No less concerning are the closures of media outlets, including regional newspapers, BuzzFeed, Ten Daily, and AAP. Coupled with the non-funding of literary journals by the Australia Council, this points to a systematic attack on freedom of expression.

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