Open letter to PM on ABC raid

ABC Alumni, representing former staff, condemn the recent police raid on the ABC and the seizing of journalist scripts and notes.

We express our support and concern for all ABC staff who, like us, are deeply troubled by this assault on Australia’s national broadcaster. This police action, and others like it, strike at the heart of democracy by threatening media freedom.

The threat of imprisonment of journalists and their sources for disclosing information in the public interest is completely unacceptable. So too is the action of police in raiding the ABC in such a manner and in confiscating such a wide range of journalistic material. All documents seized during this raid remain ABC property and should be returned without alteration or delay.

We believe the legislation enabling this raid should be immediately repealed. In particular, police should have no right to delete or alter a publisher’s documents. The public interest must be paramount. We call on the Federal Parliament to pass legislation to protect the rights of whistle-blowers and the media, and to prevent this kind of intimidation.

We also call on the Australian Federal Police to adopt an interim protocol to protect journalistic freedom and integrity within the current law.

Freedom of expression and media are fundamental pillars of democracy. They should be a constitutional right for all Australians.

We urge ABC staff to remain strong in the face of this unprecedented intimidation, and we commend and support the actions of ABC management, the Managing Director David Anderson and the ABC Chair Ita Buttrose in defending the organisation.

Mark Aarons

Darri Adamson

David Adamson

Vivien Altman

Gillian Appleton

Cathy Bardon

Patricia Barraclough

David Bates

James Beattie

Ken Begg

Dan Blu

Lynda Boland

Wendy Borchers

Tim Bowden

Christine Bratkovic

David Brill

Lachlan Brookman

Bill Bunbury

Stewart Burchmore

Janine Burdeu

Alison Caldwell

Mike Carey

Sharon Carleton

Peter Cave

John Challis

Penny Chapman

Tim Clark

John Cleary

Paul Collins

Bill Condon

Pepita Conlon

Sharon Connolly

Sandra Coopman

Gillian Coote

Stephen Crittenden

Elaine Cooke,

John Davies

Ed Davis

Rolf de Heer

Quentin Dempster

Richard Dinnen

Max Donnellan

Evelyn Doyle

Janice Drinan

Kate Durkin

Marta Dusseldorp

Jeremy Eccles

Kent Eising

Pamela Engelander

Scott Feeney

Anne Fitzgerald

Deborah Fleming

Bill Flemming

Heather Forbes

Jan Forrester

Sybille Frank

Nick Franklin

Pauline Garde

Robert Garnsey

Jemima Garrett

Kirsten Garrett

Nick Goldie

Posie Graeme-Evans

Helen Grasswill

Deborah Green

Paul Guthrie

Ken Guy

Lynette Haszard

Peggy Hayman

Mal Hewitt

John Highfield

Kate Hodges

Jonathan Holmes

Mike Honey

Shaun Hoyt

Robin Hughes

Stephen Jay

Jane Jeffes

Gael Jennings

Caroline Jones

Sandi Keane

Karina Kelly

Alexandra Kirk

Ramona Koval

Therese Kutis

Trish Lake

Jan Land

John Lander

Sandra Levy

Jennifer Lewis

John Lombard

Ranald Macdonald

Bobbie Mackley

Peter Manning

Anne Maria Nicholson

Peter Marks

Peter Martin

Helen Matthews

Ross McDowell

Wendy McCarthy

Michelle McDonagh

Maxine McKew

Margot McLaughlin

Wendy McLeod

Jeff McMullen

Glenda McNaught,

Josephine Mercer

Peter Monie

Dave Moore

Janette Morris

Margaret Murphy

Colleen Murrell

Kay Nankervis

Andy Nehl

Deborah Nesbitt

John Newsom

Peter Norden

Kerry O'Brien

Wendy Page

Ian Parmenter

Matthew Peacock

Luciana Peloza

Tania Penovic

Sue Pinnock

Margaret Pomeranz

Eric Hunter

Holly Raiche

Robyn Ravlich

Margaret Reynolds

Molly Reynolds

Julie Rigg

Tim Ritchie

Dasha Ross

Ruth Williams

Coral Saunders

Lisa Schultz

Catherine Shirley

Roslyn Simms

Patricia Simpson

Rob Simpson

Jane Singleton

Don Smith

Lindsay Somerville

Tony Souter

Sue Spencer

Grace Speranza

David Spicer

Robin Sproule

Fairlie Stanish

Rory Sutton

Jacqui Sykes

John Tan

Andrew Thorpe

Judy Tierney

John Tingle

Sue Tronser

Amy Tsilemanis

John Tulloh

Tony Walker

Michael Ward

Jeff Waters

Marius Webb

Debbie Whitmont

Greg Wilesmith

Chris William

Deane Williams

Louisa Wright