Media meets government as High Court adjourns

A meeting with the communications minister and attorney general has left Australian media chiefs hopeful of changes to the laws affecting press freedom.

Another meeting is set for three weeks' time.

The meeting between Nine chief executive Hugh Marks, News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller, ABC managing director David Anderson and Sky News chief executive Paul Whittaker, and attorney-general Christian Porter and communications minister Paul Fletcher took place in Parliament House yesterday, and follows 'Right to know' campaigning in newspapers and media

Publishers - who seek six key reforms - are hopeful of changes after the intelligence and security committee has handed down its report into press freedom, due on November 28, as they seek six key reforms.

Nine chief executive Hugh Marks, News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller, ABC managing director David Anderson and Sky News CEO Paul Whittaker met Attorney-General Christian Porter and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher in Parliament House.

Michael Miller said he was encouraged that "we got into some of the areas we wanted, particularly law changes".

He said the upcoming meeting would cover this, "getting detail around how they be considered in terms of drafting."

The Right to Know ­coalition wants journalists and media organisations to be able to contest warrants, exemptions from laws that criminalise journalists and adequate protections for public sector whistleblowers.

It also wants a new regime that limits which government documents can be stamped secret, a "properly functioning" Freedom of Information regime and defamation law reform.

The legal case of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst - in which a High Court case has been adjourned while it decides how to proceed - was also raised with Christian Porter.

During the two-day hearing, Stephen Lloyd for Smethurst, argued that the warrant police used to search her home was "spectacularly broad", invalid and amounted to trespass.

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