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‘They’re trying to intimidate’: Nine CEO hits out against anti-journalism crackdown

The nation’s media bosses will gather today in a rare show of unity, standing against recent police raids on journalists.

Last month, AFP officers executed search warrants at the ABC and at the home of a News Corp journalist over the leaking of classified government documents.

Executives from the Nine, News Corp and the ABC will address the National Press Club on Wednesday, arguing for the protection of journalists and their sources.

Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks tells Ray Hadley there has been “an increasing veil of secrecy” surrounding government which is “criminalising journalism”.

“If you make journalists jobs harder then the public loses out because they don’t get informed,” says Mr Marks.

“Sometimes there’s a leak and sometimes that’s awkward, it’s inconvenient, it’s probably embarrassing. But it’s the cost of democracy.

“People don’t like leaks and what they’re trying to do, whether it’s deliberate or otherwise, they’re trying to intimidate people from doing that.

“Leaks aren’t a bad thing. Information going out into the public domain is not a bad thing.”

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In another concerning case, former juvenile detainee Dylan Voller has successfully sued three media organisations over comments on posted on their Facebook pages.

Nationwide News, Sky News and Fairfax Media are appealing the Supreme Court ruling which found the publishers are liable for the comments that members of the public post on their social media accounts.

That’s despite media not having any ability to disable comments on Facebook posts.

Mr Marks tells Ray we need to bring defamation laws up to speed with the social media age.

“That’s a Facebook thing. We can’t make that happen, Facebook needs to make that happen.

“So, we’re being held responsible for something that’s not even our platform.”