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Can You Keep a Secret? Media Rights and the Need to Know


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Why is WikiLeaks so important? What is there to be learned from the documents released? According to the writers in A Secret Australia, the leaking of hidden government documents yielded knowledge that is essential for journalists and institutions to analyse the consequences of covert and unaccountable state power. “We open governments” is WikiLeaks’ motto, yet its crusade for transparent, accountable government has led to criminal charges being laid against its founder, Julian Assange, and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Assange now faces espionage and hacking-related charges from the US government. 

 A Secret Australia’s co-editor Peter Cronau and contributor and former Greens Senator Scott Ludlam join Sally Warhaft for a discussion about what is kept from public view and why. What are the limits of journalism when reporting on state apparatuses, and what is a publisher’s responsibility when dealing with state secrets? 

 Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival

 The bookseller for this event will be Dymocks Bendigo.


Scott Ludlam

Scott Ludlam was a senator from 2008 to 2017 and served as deputy leader of the Australian Greens. He has also worked as a filmmaker, artist and graphic designer. He contributed to A Secret Australia: Revealed by the Wikileaks Expose and his memoir, Full Circle, is his first book, the fruit of a li... Read more

Peter Cronau

Peter Cronau is an investigative journalist, most recently as producer for ABC TV’s investigative documentary program, Four Corners. Peter has reported for ABC Radio’s Background Briefing, including a report on Australia’s hitherto secret involvement in the US drone wars in the Middle East... Read more

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more


Strategem Studio at Ulumbarra Theatre

10 Gaol Rd, Bendigo VIC 3550

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