media law essay | Media Law Reform Submission


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Shield law or protection of sources is a privilege offered to journalists via the legislations of many nations and the international law. The law bars authorities including the judiciary from forcing a journalist to make known an anonymous story source. The provision of the right is informed by the understanding that without a formidable anonymity guarantee, most citizens would not come forward and give information of public interests to journalists(Ingham, 2007).The withholding of such information would mean that social vices may go undetected or unchallenged which is detrimental to the whole society. In Australia, the law has been passed recently in some states and at Commonwealth levels. A case in point is the Evidence Amendment (Journalist’s Privileges) Act 2011 which was passed in senate and gave journalists the rights to publish information without disclosing the source. However, whether to extend the shield laws to protect news bloggers/citizen journalists in addition to traditional media journalists has been a major issue. This essay explains the problem, reviewing the arguments and selected submissions and gives the preferred reforms to shield laws.