Simon Corbell has announced the passage of shield laws in the ACT to cover self-identifying journalists online:
In establishing the privilege, based on the Commonwealth model already applying in the ACT, the Territory will maintain the broader definition of journalist beyond traditional media structures.
“We live in an emerging media landscape and this new law will move to extend this journalist privilege to those people who identify as journalists outside of the traditional mediums like newspapers, television and radio,” Mr Corbell said.
“A great deal of people now use blogs and other websites to report stories to the community and even via online websites like facebook and twitter, so it is only logical that these journalists are afforded the same rights to protect their sources.”
The passage of this Bill also finalises the process of the ACT adopting the uniform evidence law that has been endorsed by all Australian Attorneys-General.
These reforms also involved the establishment of uniform professional confidential relationship privilege to preserve the privacy of relationships between professionals and members of the public.
The relationships covered include people seeking treatment from doctors, counsellors or social workers.