Monday, October 08, 2012

PMs secret letter to media executives


We learnt in July that the prime minister was conducting secret negotiations with media executives on how much of our freedom to speak they would take away.
In response to reports on 24 July 2012 of a letter from the Prime Minister to Australia’s largest media executives the IPA made a freedom of information request for the letter on 30 July 2012.
We received an acknowledgement on 1 August 2012. That was followed up with correspondence on 24 August telling us that the letter we requested involved third parties. They needed more time.
On 17 September 2012 we were told that the letter was being transferred to another office. Again, they needed more time.
On 28 September 2012 the IPA’s executive director John Roskam published a column in the Australian Financial Review. The column made reference to our FOI request and a concern about shady deals between government and the media.
On the very same afternoon we received the prime minister’s letter as requested. Exclusively for readers of FreedomWatch, we have the letter here.
As you can see the letter is pretty bland. So why all the secrecy? The letter simply states the government’s well known and public position on the issue of media regulation. This is a perfect example of the kind of unnecessary and extensive secrecy that this government is obsessed with.
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