Media & Arts Law Review, Vol. 14, pp. 1-30, 2009
33 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2009
Australian media organisations have expressed great concern that counter-terrorism laws restrict the ability of the media to report on matters related to terrorism and security. This article considers that proposition. It begins by examining the potential effects of these laws on the media's ability to access and publish information about terrorism offences. It then presents the findings of a project that explores the actual effects of the laws. Based on interviews with Australian journalists, media lawyers and criminal lawyers, the research set out to establish what is happening on the ground when the media are reporting on terrorism. It argues that counter-terrorism laws have had substantial direct effects on court reporting and, while it cannot yet be said that there is a chilling effect, a very worrying range of issues remains and the laws have indirect effects on the media which are detrimental and complex.
Keywords: media law, terrorism, free speech, journalism
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
McNamara, Lawrence, Closure, Caution and the Question of Chilling: How Have Australian Counter-Terrorism Laws Affected the Media?. Media & Arts Law Review, Vol. 14, pp. 1-30, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1371328