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Journal article

Data retention, journalist freedoms and whistleblowers

6 Apr 2017

As members of the ‘fourth estate’, journalists have enjoyed certain limited protections for themselves and their sources under the laws of various countries. These protections are now uniquely challenged in the context of metadata retention and enhanced surveillance and national security protections. This article examines the recent changes to laws in Australia and the position of journalists as investigative watchdogs. It considers the nature of the new laws, the responses of journalists, the broader context of commercial journalism and the rise of the infotainment business model, and the role of the ‘networked fourth estate’ and non-institutional actors in creating accountable government in Australia.

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