Journalists will gain access to immigration detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island if Labor wins the election, but the federal government says the move would weaken Australia's border protection efforts.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten vowed to let reporters inspect the offshore camps while appearing on the ABC's Q&A program on Monday night.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday that "operational discipline when it comes to border protection has been an important part of our success".
"We are not in the business of sharing intelligence with people smugglers," he said.
He accused Mr Shorten of "crab-walking away" from strong border protection policies.
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance has welcomed Mr Shorten's commitment to press freedom.