Australian media chiefs back WikiLeaks
December 14th, 2010 - 16:04 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

Some of Australia’s most senior media professionals, including bosses of major newspapers, television networks and websites, have written to Prime Minister Julia Gillard to express their support for WikiLeaks, ABC News reports.

The letter was initiated by the board of the Walkley Foundation, Australia’s professional journalism organisation. The letter said the leaking of 250 thousand confidential American diplomatic cables was the most astonishing leak of official information in recent history and its full implications were yet to emerge. “In essence, WikiLeaks, an organisation that aims to expose official secrets, is doing what the media have always done: bringing to light material governments would prefer to keep secret,” the letter said. “It is the media’s duty to responsibly report such material if it comes into their possession.

The letter, signed by editors and news directors, including ABC director of news Kate Torney, said the reaction of the US and Australian governments “to date has been deeply troubling”. “We will strongly resist any attempts to make the publication of these or similar documents illegal,” it said. But the group does not support “the publication of material that threatens national security or anything which would put individual lives in danger”.

“Those judgments are never easy, but there has been no evidence to date that the WikiLeaks material has done either,” it said.