Australian media organisations argue that press freedoms have been eroded by more than 70 counter-terrorism and security laws.
Australia’s major newspapers have published redacted front pages in a coordinated campaign to highlight government secrecy.
Rival media businesses first teamed up in June after police raided the home of a News Corporation journalist, and the headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in search of leaked government documents that had formed the basis of news reports that were embarrassing to the government.
A former army lawyer has been charged over the leaks and several journalists could also be charged.
The newspaper front pages ask: “When government keeps the truth from you, what are they covering?”
Examples of secrecy include the government’s refusal to disclose which nursing homes haven been found to abuse and neglect elderly residents.
The government has also refused to disclose how much agricultural land has been sold to foreign entities.
“Australians should always be suspicious of governments that want to restrict their right to know what’s going on,” said News Corporation Australia’s executive chairman, Michael Miller.