Conversations between ABC and WA Police are continuing following an Order to Produce footage it captured for its Four Corners story on climate change protests, this week.
ABC management has so far indicated it will not reveal its sources but not stated if it will hand the vision to police.
In a statement WA Police said, “We in good faith offered the Four Corners team a sit down interview which lasted well over an hour. We invested time and resources ensuring all their follow-up questions were answered. Our agency works agnostically to facilitate hundreds of lawful protests every year.
“Although ABC‘s Four Corners chose not to include it in the program, the Western Australian Police Force’s message to the activists is ‘work with us to stage your protests lawfully. Generally speaking our agency is open to reducing the scope of an Order to Produce, where possible, to protect confidential sources.
“Conversations between W.A. Police and the ABC are continuing. W.A. Police is hopeful we can find a resolution which will allow us both to meet our respective obligations to the public we serve.
“The Western Australia Police Force has received numerous request asking us to confirm if the Four Corners team were aware of an alleged criminal act before it was committed. This relates to matters which are currently before the courts.
“At this time it is appropriate to reserve comment and allow the evidence to be heard in full before the courts
“W.A. Police can confirm the Four Corners team are not under investigation.”
MEAA, which represents more than 5000 journalists and other media workers, has urged the ABC to stand firm and not hand over the footage.
MEAA Media Federal President Karen Percy said, “This is a direct threat to press freedom and the ability of investigative journalists to cover this important story.
“Protecting sources is sacrosanct for journalists. To reveal sources is contrary to the MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics.”