The Australian Press Council (APC) is pleased to announce that Bruce Burke, an accomplished and highly regarded media lawyer with more than 40 years’ experience, has been chosen as the winner of the 2022 Press Freedom Award.
The Press Freedom Award recognises individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment or service to the cause of press freedom. “Bruce Burke is an outstanding media lawyer and individual who has dedicated his career to protecting the rights of media organisations to publish and broadcast important works of journalism, without fear or favour,” said APC Chairman Neville Stevens, AO. “As the many supporters of Bruce’s nomination for this award told us, his manner, dedication, energy, and insight into the dilemmas faced by publishers have been critical to their ability to publish their stories, even in the face of powerful opponents. He is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2022 Press Freedom Award.”
“I have had the privilege of a long and rewarding legal career, often representing media clients who are fighting to expose uncomfortable truths, while abiding by Australia’s restrictive defamation laws,” said Mr Burke. “I have worked with many absolutely remarkable people and continue to do so. It is gratifying that the value of this work to the cause of press freedom has been acknowledged by the Australian Press Council. I feel deeply honoured by this recognition.”
The Press Council has recognised individuals with this award intermittently since 1999, but the honour was previously reserved for people affiliated with the organisation. The Council decided in 2016 to revitalise the award and open it up to people who, through their work as journalists, legal practitioners, community activists or advocates, help ensure the preservation of free speech, press freedom and open and transparent government.