Aust press freedom reforms under spotlight

Australia's news media heads will come together to work on a press freedom reform and review national secrecy laws.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will convene the February 27 roundtable, saying the government is committed to being held to account by the fourth estate, describing it as vital to democracy.

Mr Dreyfus said legislative reform would be a priority.

"Journalists should never face the prospect of being charged or even jailed just for doing their jobs," he said.

The attorney-general has commissioned a review of Australia's national security and secrecy laws after a government watchdog criticised the secret trial and conviction of a former intelligence officer, dubbed Witness J.

Mr Dreyfus said the roundtable would address whether secrecy offences were gagging public interest journalism.

He flagged specific whistleblower and press freedom reforms this year after the National Anti-corruption Commission legislation passed at the end of 2022.