Australia

Minister to promote press freedom abroad

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne is heading abroad to promote global press freedom. (AAP)

Foreign Minister Marise Payne will contribute to global efforts to protect press freedom at an international conference, as the issue remains in focus at home.

As debate about press freedom rages in Australia, the foreign affairs minister is heading abroad to promote its importance across the globe.

Marise Payne will join international counterparts, journalists and civil groups at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London on Wednesday.

Senator Payne said she would promote freedom of expression and join global efforts to prevent attacks against journalists.

"The Morrison government is committed to ensuring our democracy upholds a free press and keeps Australians safe -- two fundamental tenets of our democracy," the foreign affairs minister said on Tuesday.

The conference comes amid intense scrutiny about controversial Australian Federal Police raids on two media outlets last month.

Federal police raided the Sydney headquarters of the ABC, and the Canberra home of a News Corp journalist, over separate stories based on leaked government information.

It was revealed this week that in relation to the ABC report, the AFP requested a journalist's private travel records from Qantas.

The development appeared to suggest police could be building a case against the reporter, in addition to the whistleblower, who already admitted leaking the information.

It was also revealed that the AFP accessed the metadata of journalists 58 times in one year.

A federal parliamentary inquiry into press freedom is now under way, with the committee grappling with how raids on journalists are authorised.

Senator Payne will also be attending a conference in London on Tuesday bringing together the foreign ministers of the 53 commonwealth countries.

The ministers will focus on efforts to become more co-ordinated, efficient and effective.

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch