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3 March 2020

In this week’s episode, we talk about surplus politics and the government’s proactive response to coronavirus, plus freedom of the press with News Corp’s Annika Smethurst.

In the wake of police raids on Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home and the ABC’s Sydney headquarters in 2019, media organisations have come together to advocate more adequate protection for journalists. Beyond advocating for their staff, the organisations say they are fighting for the future of investigative reporting on matters of public interest. But what impact does the threat of legal action – even jail time – have on journalists reporting on such matters? And what is the Australian government planning to do to ensure journalists are protected under the law? On this very special episode of Democracy Sausage, Mark and Marija are joined by News Corp’s Annika Smethurst and The Australian National University’s Dr Will Grant to take a very personal look at media freedom in Australia. Listen here:

Mark Kenny is a Senior Fellow in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age, and The Canberra Times.

Annika Smethurst is National Political Editor for the Sunday News Corp mastheads The Herald Sun,, The Daily Telegraph and The Courier-Mail. She is also a Director on the Board of the National Press Club.

Dr Marija Taflaga is a lecturer in the ANU School of Politics and International Relations. Her major research is on political parties and particularly the Liberal Party of Australia. She has previously worked in the Australian Parliamentary Press Gallery as a researcher at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Dr Will Grant is Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at The Australian National University.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

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