TWO raids in two days on journalists have brought into stark relief the role of whistleblowers and media freedom in Australia.
ABC chairwoman Ita Buttrose on Friday said: "It is impossible to ignore the seismic nature of this week's events: raids on two separate media outfits on consecutive days is a blunt signal of adverse consequences for news organisations who make life uncomfortable for policy makers and regulators by shining lights in dark corners and holding the powerful to account."
Their actions related to a press story about plans for a government agency to spy on us and a television report on alleged misconduct by our special forces soldiers.
Both of these matters are clearly in the public interest and while there may be some intersection with national security there has been no compelling argument to say lives were put in danger by the journalism.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks of 2001 there has been a continual reform of laws with the public told there needs to be beefed-up powers for security agencies.
In the process, an air of secrecy has ballooned with the public's right to know what its servants and agencies are doing with their taxpayer dollars relegated.
Hopefully this week will be a pivot to a serious debate about the extent of the powers of the state, be it the federal government, spy agencies or the police.
The Coalition government has argued it did not know of the raids, but it is responsible for the laws and the environment in which police bosses act.
There should be a true review and questions asked of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Their responses so far have shown a lack of deep understanding of the role of journalism in ensuring we're informed.
The raids also send an alarming message to whistleblowers who brave their careers by standing up for the public good.
There needs to be reasonable protections that reflect the democratic foundations of Australia.