Media Talk — Press Freedom: Open season on journalists

  • April 20, 2017
  • 06:00pm-07:30pm
  • Metcalfe Auditorium, The State Library of NSW Macquarie St Sydney, NSW

Around the world more than 3000 media workers have been slain in targeted killings and cross-fire incidents since 1990 – 93 were killed just last year. In many countries a culture of impunity means killers literally get away with murder. And now, largely thanks to a new US president and his Twitter account, we’re seeing that it’s not only open season on journalists, but journalism itself.

In a special discussion as the Walkleys and MEAA campaign for press freedom, our panel discuss the dangers of dismissing dissent as “fake news”, the contempt, disrespect and attacks on journalists spreading like a virus. They’ll also talk about pressing legal issues in Australia — protections for whistleblowers and the journalists who tell their stories, and suppression orders and defamation laws muzzling the press from reporting on the powerful and privileged — and the dangers in our Asia-Pacific region.


Richard Ackland AM, journalist, publisher and lawyer, Justinian
Richard graduated in law and economics and was admitted to the NSW Supreme Court 1986. He is the publisher of the law journals Justinian and the Gazette of Law & Journalism. He has been a reporter for The Australian Financial Review and a columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald, a presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch, SBS’s Business Show and Radio National’s Late Night Live and Breakfast programs. Currently he is columnist for Guardian Australia and The Saturday Paper. He has the PEN Keneally Award for ‘promotion of freedom of expression’, Voltaire award presented by the Free Speech Committee of Victoria, and Gold Walkley for excellence in journalism

Fran Kelly, presenter, ABC RN Breakfast
Fran is the presenter of ABC’s Radio National Breakfast program — is one of Australia’s leading political interviewers and commentators. She has earned a reputation as an intelligent, informed and balanced journalist who has been a key contributor to the nation’s political and social debates for the past 15 years. In that time she’s been the ABC’s Europe Correspondent based in London, the political editor for The 7.30 Report and the political correspondent for the prestigious AM program.

Jane Worthington, Director, IFJ Asia Pacific
Jane is the Director of Program & Development for the IFJ Asia-Pacific and a former journalist who has worked in Australian and international media for more than 20 years. She was previously Deputy Director for the Walkley Foundation for Journalism and has extensive experience managing and consulting on press freedom projects in the region.Since joining the IFJ AP in 2013, Jane has led the IFJ AP’s press freedom and development work in affiliate countries in the region. She is an experienced trainer and has developed training and delivered workshops across the region in journalism rights, gender equity, safety and digital security, union leadership and other press freedom issues.Jane has represented the IFJ on international media missions to Indonesia, Korea, Nepal and the Philippines.

Katelin McInerney, Media director, MEAA (moderator)
Katelin is the director of the Media section of MEAA, and a former lead organiser with the union. Katelin is a third generation journalist, and a former reporter with the Illawarra Mercury in Wollongong. Katelin was a union delegate at the Mercury from 2007 until she became an organiser with MEAA in 2009, taking up, full-time, the fight to keep journalists in fair employment, media companies investing in quality journalism and advocating for a fearless and free Australian press.