On June 3, the ABC program Media Watch reported that a radio news story for ABC Radio AM had been pulled following a complaint from Adani. The decision to pull the report came from ABC management. Adani is an Indian mining company that is currently in the final stages of opening a mine in northern Australia.
MEAA union delegates issued a statement of their concerns: “We, the MEAA National House Committee, are deeply concerned by the report on Media Watch last night regarding allegations of editorial interference by corporate interests in ABC reporting in regards to mining company Adani. ABC MEAA members stand with ABC journalist Isabel Roe, whose story on Adani appears to have been pulled, and we reaffirm the commitment of all ABC journalists to the editorial independence of the ABC and to upholding our ability to do our job without fear or favour.”
MEAA media director Katelin McInerney said: “This is a blatant attempt to intimidate and harass journalists going about their duties to report legitimate news stories in the public interest. Attacks on press freedom must not be tolerated in a healthy function democracy – regardless of whether those assaults come from political interests or powerful corporations seeking to deter legitimate scrutiny of their activities.”
The IFJ said: “Media reports and news stories cannot simply be pulled. Actions such as this intimidate the media who are simply doing their jobs and reporting on key stories of public interest. The Australian media must take a stand against these attempts to weaken press freedom, which ultimately will weaken democracy in Australia.”