COMMENT:

In my early years as a newspaper reporter it was emphasised to us as a point of pride that we had no more rights in law than the general public.

It was a point of pride because it underpinned the freedom of the press. Our craft had not only asserted its right to speak freely and independently of the state, it did not seek special privileges or protections from the state.

The words "journalist" and "news media" barely appeared in statute law and that's the way we liked it.

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The only statutory "privilege" we had was really an extension

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