Sources protected

Australian law will protect journalists' sources and whistleblowers

Australia is on the verge of enacting a law that would allow journalists to protect the confidentiality of their sources.

A bill introduced to the Canberra parliament by one of the government's independent supporters has the backing the country's attorney general Robert McClelland.

He said: "We will start from the premise that the court will presume that the confidentiality of the journalist's source is protected."

Aussie journalists currently risk being sent to prison for contempt of court if they refuse to name a source.

The bill's sponsor is Andrew Wilkie, who gained a public profile in 2003 when he quit his job as a government intelligence analyst to protest at the then-conservative government's decision to send 2,000 troops to Iraq.

He said the proposed law was only the start of protecting whistle-blowers such as himself.

(Published by Guardian - September 29, 2010)

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