In June, following federal police raids on the ABC’s Sydney offices and a News Corp journalist’s home, editors around the country came out to denounce the attack on press freedom. The story was carried on the front page of almost every major newspaper.
There was one exception. The West Australian, the dominating newspaper in WA, ran a short story on page six about the raids and has published no substantive mention of the high-profile campaign to protect media freedom since.
The way the West downplayed one of the biggest stories about the media in years came as little surprise to close observers of the newspaper. Seven West Media, which owns the paper (as well as the Seven Network, Perth’s Sunday Times and most of the city’s suburban free sheets) was the only major news outlet not represented at Perth’s rally for press freedom in late July, almost two months after the raids. Neale Prior, the West's personal finance editor and national media section committee member for the MEAA (the journalists' union) did speak at the rally, but specifically in his capacity as a union member.