Radio presenter Ben Fordham said that the Department of Home Affairs threatened him after he aired a story based on an anonymous leak from a government source.

On Monday 3 June Fordham said on air that a source in the department had told him that up to six asylum seeker boats from Sri Lanka were bound for Australia.

The following day, while discussing the AFP's raid on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst's home, he revealed that the department had contacted him and producer Zac McLean regarding the story. According to Fordham, the official said that the leak was an "unauthorised disclosure" and that it would be investigated.

On Monday night, he says he had a further conversation with "senior sources" in the department, during which he was told that only a small number of people had access to the information in question, and that investigators would be able to access their call logs while looking for his source.

On the morning of Tuesday 4 June, the department contacted him again to confirm that an investigation had been opened, and that it could lead to a referral to the AFP.

The broadcaster stressed on air that he was told he was not the target of the investigation, and that the conversation was polite and he was not pressured to reveal his source.

Fordham said that though he was asked for his co-operation, "there's not a hope in hell of that happening. Not today, not tomorrow, next week or next month. Under no circumstnaces will I be revealing my sources on this story or any story".

"I work in a business that's based on freedom of the press and shining a torch in areas where there are shadows and it's not fair to the people who assist me with my work to give them up the moment the AFP comes knocking."

Date of incident 04/06/2019
Target Ben Fordham
Affiliation 2GB
Type Threat
Location Sydney, NSW
Last updated 15/06/2019

 

Timeline

3 June 2019
4 June 2019