Regionals hit back with powerful message
News Corp Australia's regional newspapers have joined forces to throw their weight behind the Right to Know campaign with a powerful front page showing a blindfolded family of three.
The haunting image of a couple with a toddler, accompanied by the headline "Don't keep us in the dark" was published on the front pages of mastheads in regional Queensland, NSW, the Northern Territory and Victoria.
The front page subhead asks: "When government keeps the truth from you, what are they covering up?"
In Hobart, The Mercury produced a damning front page exposing local government secrecy, with the headline "History Redacted".
The move forms part of the Right to Know campaign by Australia's major media organisations targeting growing government overreach to stop journalists informing the public of matters of public interest.
It is the second time in the past month News Corp's regional newspapers have published a front page dedicated to informing their readers of how governments - local, state and federal - are denying them the right to know many decisions and actions they have taken.
The first front page one was published on October 21 when the regional newspapers joined forces with other news organisations for the Right to Know Coalition, an unprecedented show of unity between competitors to push for stronger protections of media freedom.
Today's coverage was supplemented with examples of this excessive secrecy throughout regional Australia and demonstrated how authorities are increasingly seeking to thwart public scrutiny of their activities.
Michael Miller, Executive Chairman of News Corp Australasia, said the front pages sent "a powerful message that Australia's media is standing up for the rights of all regional Australians to know what their governments are doing".
"The Right to Know campaign is important for our industry as a whole but it's much more than that," he said.
"Governments of all levels - local, state and federal - too often exploit what they perceive as a lack of scrutiny outside of mainland capital cities to take questionable decisions and actions.
"It's our commitment in serving the communities where all of us live and work that we keep these governments honest and at every turn, fight their increasing secrecy.
"Regional Australians should know about decisions that affect them."