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The Australian Federal Police raids on the home of News Corporation Australia journalist, Annika Smethurst and on the offices of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation raise serious concerns to press freedom and democracy in Australia.
News Corporation journalist, Annika Smethurst, reported on federal government plans, which proposed giving the Australian Signals Directorate the ability – for the first time – to spy on Australian citizens.
In the ABC’s case, reporters Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, reported on ‘The Afghan Files’ in 2017, which revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces personnel in Afghanistan.
This is within every Australians right to know what new powers the government was exploring, to enable national agencies to surveil its citizens.
Journalists are bound by their code of ethics to not disclose sources, and to demand they do is asking them to break a covenant recognised the world-over as crucial to uncovering misconduct – when authorities would prefer the public stay in the dark.
Reaction to these raids has unified the media and journalistic community.
In a rare display of media unity, the Chief Executives of the ABC & Nine Entertainment and the Executive Chairman of News Corporation Australasia, appear together at the National Press Club to add their weight to this alarming development by the Australian Government or its agencies
The live televised forum will be moderated by the President of the Club, Sabra Lane.
David Anderson was appointed as the ABC’s Managing Director in May 2019 for a five year term.
Prior to his appointment, David served as Director Entertainment & Specialist from February 2018, expanding his previous role as Director Television to be responsible for all ABC radio music networks (triple j, Double j, Classic FM, Country and Jazz) podcasts and specialist radio content (Radio National) as well as broadcast television networks (ABCTV, ABC Kids, ABC Comedy, ABC ME). This also includes all on-demand products and services (iview, ABC Listen, ABC Kids Listen, ABC Kids), and the relevant network web and apps.
David has enjoyed a successful career in the broadcast television and media industry for over 30 years, with a long history as television executive and a strong track record in television production and commissioning successful programs across all genres.
Prior to his tenure as Director Television, David was the Director of the ABC’s Digital Network and Strategy & Planning divisions. In his capacity as Director of Strategy & Planning, David worked to refocus expenditure in the organisation towards audience-focused content, products and services; and as Director of Digital Network, David was afforded the opportunity to lead the organisation’s digital transformation by looking at ways to engage new audiences online and creating a personalised and connected online network.
Hugh Marks was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Nine in November 2015. Prior to this he had been an independent, Non-Executive Director since February 2013.
Mr Marks has over 20 years’ experience as a senior executive in content production and broadcasting in Australia and overseas. Before his appointment as CEO he had ownership and management interests in a number of independent companies providing content for broadcast and pay TV, talent management, and digital production.
Before joining the board Mr Marks was an authority member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority for more than two years. Previously he was CEO of the Southern Star Group. He has also worked with the Nine Network as legal counsel, and was Director of Nine Films & Television for seven years.
Mr Marks holds a Bachelor of Commerce/Laws degree from the University of New South Wales.
Michael Miller was appointed Executive Chairman Australasia of News Corp Australia in November 2015.
He has over 15 years’ experience working in senior executive roles in the media industry, most recently as the CEO of APN News and Media.
Michael was previously the Regional Director for News Limited in New South Wales, the Managing Director of Advertiser News Media, and News Limited’s Group Marketing Director where he was involved in all aspects of marketing across News Corp’s 11 divisions in the region.
Michael has sat on the Boards of News Limited, Fox Sports Australia, carsguide.com.au, Sky Network Television Limited, the Committee for Sydney and Waratahs Rugby.
He is currently the Chairman of The Newspaper Works and a Director of Unruly, REA, Foxtel and FOX SPORTS.