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The Australian Press Council agreed on the following Charter in 2003 and encouraged other organisations to adopt it.
Freedom of opinion and expression is an inalienable right of a free people. Australia is committed to The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 19 of the Declaration provides: "Everyone has the right of freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers".
In a truly democratic society open debate, discussion, criticism and dissent are central to the process of generating informed and considered choices. These processes are crucial to the formation of values and priorities and help in assessing and finding solutions to social, economic and political problems.
A free press is a symbol of a free people. The people of Australia have a right to freedom of information and access to differing opinions and declare that the following principles are basic to an unfettered flow of news and views both within Australia and across the nation's borders.