Australia’s defamation laws protect powerful, corrupt interests, media chiefs say

Media executives have condemned Australia’s defamation laws as an outdated regime that serves to protect powerful and corrupt people from the scrutiny of public interest journalism.

At a press freedom gathering in Canberra, the heads of Nine and ABC said defamation law as currently drafted and implanted was misguided.

ABC managing director David Anderson said defamation laws appear only to protect the rich and powerful.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Hugh Marks, chief executive of Nine, said the laws were imbalanced and went beyond the “important” objective of holding journalists to account.

“We should own our mistakes,” he told an audience at the National Press Club. “But not to the extent where current defamation laws mean a journalist gets into the ring with the unscrupulous, the dishonest and the corrupt with two hands tied behind his or her back.”


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