READ NEVILLE STEVENS' FULL SPEECH
Quality journalism is vital to the community, new Press Council Chair Neville Stevens said in a 19 April Melbourne Press Club address, and its defence is a responsibility shared by publishers, journalists, government and the public, as well as the Council.
Mr Stevens, who acknowledged the contributions of his predecessor, David Weisbrot, in the speech, signalled that the organisation would continue to advocate for press freedom and would work to improve its image as an independent self-regulatory body.
The new Chair outlined the major challenges facing the media in Australia, including the stifling effect of defamation, anti-terrorism and secrecy laws, the use of suppression orders, metadata retention and a lack of adequate protections for whistleblowers.
Australia ranked only 19th in the 2017 Reporters without Borders press freedom report, he pointed out, which should be of concern to everyone.