House debates

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Statements by Members

Australian Associated Press Newswire

1:47 pm

Photo of Kate ThwaitesKate Thwaites (Jagajaga, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

After 85 years, AAP newswire is closing. AAP is not a household name in the same way some of our newspaper titles and journalists may be, but it's the AAP journalists and photographers who provide so many of the stories and photos that we see in those papers and online. As a former journalist myself, I know that AAP journalists are often the ones who are at the court first, who stay through the entire parliamentary hearing or attend that hard-to-get-to community gathering. I want to say thank you to all of the AAP journalists and I am so sorry that you are losing your jobs. This isn't just terrible news for you. It's terrible news for all of us. We need credible, professional journalists and news outlets to combat the rise of misinformation, to hold our governments and institutions to account and to help us understand what's going on every day in our communities.

A community without independent journalists and news sources is one run by Facebook memes, open to manipulation by powerful figures and prone to fear and panic. Make no mistake: this is a serious threat to our democracy. And, yet, this government is asleep at the wheel. It's failed to respond seriously to any of the recommendations from the ACCC's inquiry into digital platforms. It continues to mount ideological attacks on one of the most important news outlets we have—the ABC. It allows journalists' homes and workplaces to be raided by Federal Police. This is critical. Wake up before it's too late.

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